In an effort to raise awareness about Autism this month, I chose to focus on the actual SPECTRUM of Autism. In my short journey so far, I’ve found that stereotypes control most of what our society perceives Autism to be. Sometimes the stereotypes apply to a person, however, often times they do not.
When we gradually started sharing our daughter Kylie’s diagnosis, the number one response was: “but she doesn’t LOOK autistic”, followed by “but she doesn’t ACT autistic”, closely ranked before “but she doesn’t SEEM autistic”. These responses became so common – even from close friends and family members – that I often found myself doubting the diagnosis and my gut instinct about my daughter all together. The more I researched though, and the more assessments and evaluations we endured, I realized that people are not very educated about Autism at all. Sadly, even professionals in the medical field that are designated to work with children with Autism are not always educated about the true spectrum of symptoms, and instead rely on their stereotypes of what society describes as Autism.
The reason so many people thought Kylie didn’t LOOK, ACT, or SEEM autistic, is because they didn’t know what children on all parts of the spectrum of Autism LOOK, ACT, and SEEM like. They assumed they all LOOKED, ACTED, and SEEMED the same. So, for Autism Awareness month this April, I hope to change the way people see Autism. I will be sharing many different faces of Autism this month – varying ages, girls and boys, men and women, from different communities, at different places along the spectrum. Their stories are all unique – their symptoms are not the same. Just like pieces to a puzzle that we are all still seeking to understand completely, together they are the Autism SPECTRUM.
Stay tuned for some beautiful faces of Autism this month, and if you would be interested (and willing) to open up and share your journey with us please contact me through my business webpage www.picturedmomentsbyapril.co or email me at mypicturedmoments at yahoo dot com. Send me a synopsis of your story and a picture or two and I will respond with more information if we are able to feature your story. If you’re a parent struggling to find what you want to say, here are some key points: Introduce your child, what do they love, what do they excel at, what are their biggest challenges, and of course the typical road to Autism diagnosis type information. What were the flags, what are the symptoms, how did a diagnosis come about, what therapies have helped, what obstacles have they overcome, what does the future look like, and how this has affected the parents/family as well. Hope that helps and thank you so much for volunteering to share your journey and help raise awareness of the diversity of the Autism Spectrum!
Don’t forget to follow @KYLIEISMS1 on Twitter too for some giggles and occasional information share 🙂
Featured Faces This Month:
- 3 Year Old Owen
- 12 Year Old Bryce
- 11 Year Old Bekkah
- Surfer, Clay Marzo
- 6 Year Old Jesse
- 14 Year Old Hannah
- Writer, 17 year old Carly Fleischmann