Explaining autism as a spectrum

22 March 2017

Dear friend,

I wish I had a euro for every time someone has responded to the statement,
I have a son with autism 
with the question but he's not that bad/but he's high functioning/but he's clever?

Maybe people just want you to feel better but I think this is also because it is really difficult to explain what an autistic spectrum is. One of the most frustratingannoyingdifficult, infuriating things about having a child with autism is trying to explain what that means. I've even written about how tongue tied I get when people ask me what autism is?

We tend to hear about and see on TV and in the press the extremes of autism and this leads to people having quite stereotypical views of what it is, something that I regularly write about on this blog. But people also appear to misunderstand what a spectrum actually means.

I came across the following cartoon from Rebecca Burgess and it explains the autistic spectrum brilliantly.

I hear alot of people misinterpreting or misusing the term ‘autism spectrum’. So for Autism Acceptance week, I decided to make a comic to help explain the term and how it affects things. 
Rebecca Burgess. 

I love this brilliantly creative explanation! In our experience most problems/issues are caused by misunderstanding. People assume my son is 'not that bad' because he has learned how to behave in certain situations or they do not see all the support or hard work that has gone into helping him to cope but when things get too much and he reacts they are shocked and then are forced to reassess their judgement of him (or of us as parents) this can be extremely frustrating for him and us!

Thank you so much Rebecca for creating this brilliant cartoon. I am sure it will help more people to understand the meaning of the autistic spectrum.

How can you help?  Get the message out there.  Share.

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Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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