We recently joined Campaspe Shire Regional Library service in a morning of celebration – sharing in stories of Autism. So many thought provoking and wonderful moments were had, with some really valuable messages for us all.
As part of the event, our autistic community shared their own thoughts and insights around autism – what was great about autism, what was hard about autism, and what they thought people could do to support them to be their best.
These messages were too important not to share with you all!
What is great about autism and being on the spectrum?
I’m arty! I’m good with animals I can do Maths in my head!
Passionate Loyal Honest Very focused
Quirky sense of humour Not fazed by other people’s agendas
Comfort in doing the same thing over and over, patterns
I enjoy flapping, movement Enjoy the simple things in life
We become experts in the things we like
Different perspective on life compared to non-autistic people
I don’t get caught up in gossip!
Being cautious can sometimes be a good thing because it makes me think twice about things – safety being one of those things
Having attention to detail that other people don’t have
Long term memory – really good at remembering things
I find remembering numbers easy
I’m better at computers than anyone else
One mum also added… “Everyday you have an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know yesterday, as no two days with a child on the spectrum are ever the same. You are also privileged to see the world in a totally different perspective, with overwhelming honesty and passion.”
What is hard about being on the autism spectrum?
Working out people Thinking can be hard, and making decisions
When people laugh at the word Aspergers
Communicating my wants and needs
When things change Anxiety Meltdowns People judging me
Friendships and social expectations (reading social cues)
Trying to understand too many instructions Picking up sarcasm
How the world looks and sounds and feels and smells
Other people not understanding me or not taking me seriously
What would you most like people to know about how to support you to be your best?
Be positive, compassionate, reassuring, accepting and understanding
Don’t judge Have patience Ask us!! Have clear expectations
Don’t assume we’re not capable / Don’t assume we don’t need support!
Don’t change things without telling us and letting us work it through
Explain details carefully and in simple terms
Stop using the words ‘retard’ and ‘spaz’ – even if it’s a joke
Educate yourself and others – in schools and in workplaces
Learn from autistic people – we know what works best for us!
Love us for who we are
And that’s something to think about…
Elissa & Sherri x