Autism is...

2 April 2018

Dear Friend,

My son had to give a presentation at school and he chose the topic Autism.

He never fails to surprise me!

We enthusiastically started our research for the topic but that soon changed. The reaction we both had to the available materials was quite surprising and shocking.  My son was very upset by one particular video we watched and stated,
I hate autism...

Whilst I understand that the information has to be 'real' and 'honest' for any autistic person or parent the information about autism can be scary, depressing even.  Many resources we found focused too much on the deficits or the extremes of autism.  Where is the wider spectrum represented?

How could we turn this around?

Together we attempted to write our own 'real' and 'honest' yet hopeful version of what autism means to my son. We hope you enjoy it!

Slide 2: We will begin with a Quiz: Please look at the 5 questions and give an answer of true of false. Save your answers as we will return to these at the end.
Slide 6: Select the green link for a video: Autism and the senses.
Slide 7: Select the triangle to watch the video. (I added Dutch subtitles for the class)

The morning of the presentation, I don't know who was more nervous? I was really frightened that he might be overwhelmed or get upset. He woke up with a sore throat and needed some of mummy's magic medicine to get him going.

But... I am very pleased to say that he did it and he reported with a huge smile on his face that everyone clapped and chanted his name when he had finished. He also got an 8.5/10 from his teacher. One Proud boy and one very proud Mummy!

I am filled with pride but not at the 8.5/10, don't get me wrong that is amazing! But that this boy who hated being autistic and cried everytime we used the word autism, who only saw the deficits, who has had counselling to help him come to terms with his Autism. Has come so far that he can stand up in a room full of his peers and say, I have autism, this is me! 
Having Autism doesn't put limits on your life, attitudes do. Let's challenge those stereotypes!

If you would like to reproduce the slides or use the presentation in English or Dutch please contact me. 

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Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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