What is autism?
Autism is a neuro-biological disorder, present from birth, characterized by difficulty in communicating and being able to form relationships with other people and in using language and expressing abstract concepts.
For Fiona, it makes it incredibly hard for her to say what she wants to say. We help her create sentences and phrases, so she can communicate with others. Sometimes she gets quite upset, because she feels you don't understand her or how she feels. In response, she has a screaming outburst. This outburst is a fight or flight reaction to the situation. She needs you to be patient and to see the world through her eyes.
Imagine not being able to communicate as quickly or being able to say exactly what you meant. Some of us deal with that and we don't have autism. How do you or would you deal with that situation?
Like anyone she wants to be understood and thought of as an equal, but she needs extra help through the day to filter out all the distractions that overwhelm her. These distractions affect all her senses. She has her way of dealing with these by rocking back in forth in her chair or running back in forth in a room. These help her focus.
Everyone at one point in their life will know someone with autism. Please take the time to be their friend and show them patience and understanding. In this small way, you can help the change the world.
“I tell people I have autism because then they don't mess with me.”