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Thursday, October 9, 2014

My 1,100th Post: The "Autism Is..." Project

As with my 400th, 500th, 600th, 700th, 800th, 900th and now 1,100th post I am running the "Autism Is..." project. I still can't believe how strong this project has gone. Whether you want to add your own, or read other the numerous responses, I'm honored that so many people have taken part. And I would also like to thank all my readers and followers for the continued support. Knowing that so many people want all the info they can get is such an inspiration!

I did this once and I wanted to run this again. For today I want you contribute. This is a simple task and all I want you to do is finish the line, "Autism is..." I want as many answers as possible. If you've contributed before feel free to do so again.

Autism is still a gigantic mystery to most people outside of the spectrum and I want as many comments as possible. This truly is a spectrum disorder and no single voice can cover the whole spectrum. So, autism is...? There are no right answers, or wrong answers. Use one word, use as many words as the comment form below will allow (4096 letters). The only thing I ask is that we keep this positive and if you want you can mention if you are a parent, on the spectrum, professional, or have no ties to the spectrum. You also have many options as you can post your name, or do it anonymously.

So now it's your turn, "Autism is..."

175 comments:

  1. Autism is just a name to help explain a part of me. I'm also an individual.
    For people who don't know yet: I have Asperger's Syndrome.

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    1. Autism is a very special way to see life,just like a heart shape window, which helps you find out the cleanest side of everything.My lovely 14th year old girl makes me feel proud of her.

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    2. Autism is not a word to be feared, it is a child(or adult) to be loved.

      Autism is not a disability, it's a different ability.

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    3. A Very Special Loving Person !!!!

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    4. I love what Julie said. "Autism is not a diability, it's a different ability." That started my waterworks. My son has Asperger's Syndrome and that is how I explain his "isms" to people. He isn't disabled, he just does things differently than most other people.

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  2. Autism is a blessing that is hard to share with those who don't understand. It has a wide range of attributes it can touch, but the pattern rarely repeats - ironic since patterns and repetition is desired with many who have Autism. The puzzle motif for Autism awareness, etc. is very apropos. Like i've heard it said, "if you know one person with Autism, you know one person with Autism", and yet we all fit in together.

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  3. Autism is personality, you see the World with other Eyes, but is there the right Way how you must see the World?! Please forget prejudice and beamenable! Thank you.

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  4. Autism is. Enough said.

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  5. a misunderstood mystery

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  6. Autism is underfunded. More people are impacted by Autism than by pediatric aids, juvenile diabetes and childhood cancers combined! Effective research and treatment are dependent on funds to provide for this growing need.

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  7. To me autism is a part of my 2 children, but it does not define our whole life. Luke and Ella are truly the loves of my life and autism has become my calling, in helping other families as well as my own.

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  8. I think it's hard to live with it. Sometimes it's sad. I'm feel so alone. But when I understood more what is it, after 40, I began to live a better life.

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  9. Autism is A new kind of people in society who look at things differntly then others. Smart or dumb, social or asocial. Just different.

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  10. Autism is difference. Difference that make life's struggles multiply over and over!

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  11. is NEVER giving up, knowing he is in there and I will get him out!

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  12. Autism is just another part of our life. We accept it as simply a part of life.

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  13. Autism is sometimes undefinable. When you have two kids in the same family on the spectrum they are very unique. Autism is a puzzle with out all the pieces.

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  14. Autism is something wonderful that many people has.
    I have Autism and I'm proud of it! :D
    ________________________________________________
    Do you know Bill Gates?
    He invented the computer, and he has Autism! :D
    Nothing on internet, and other programs would exist without him! :D
    (pass this message to everyone)

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  15. Autism is an amazing gift of profound, innovative thinking to those on the spectrum who are supported, encouraged and accepted by the people close to them. It is only a burden when surrounded by ignorance.

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    1. That is my son...thank you for your post!

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    2. That is my son...thank you for your post!

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  16. Autism is a challenge, each day, each moment. As a parent I see some of my children on the spectrum happy and leading a fullfilling life. One of them however can't leave his frame of mind and lives in a kind of prison of his thoughts and I can do nothing else but to step inside that world and reach him a hand, leaving my own life sadly behind. Autism is on a spectrum, and it's not all happy happy life. Sorry.

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  17. I was diagnosed with Autism and Aspergers syndrome when i was 3 and it as been a challenge for me to fit into "normal" society. But who says we arent the normal ones and they are the abnormal ones? Im glad to have this gift that i have cherished throughout my life as it is. I am 17 and to this day my disability is what makes me, me.

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  18. Autism is what makes my granddaughter who she is and she is wonderful!

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  19. Autism is not for Sissies. It takes all my strength to live in it, with it , and through it.

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  20. autism is a blessing in disguise once you figure out what the issues are and learn how to deal with it you figure out their are so many more opportunities for them than you ever imagined and its also pure honesty my son truly amazes me with everything he deals with and still accomplishes daily :)

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  21. Autism is teaching me to be a better parent to all of my children.

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  22. Autism is a journey which my daughter is on. She will have to be stronger than most to overcome many obstacles along this journey. She teaches me, daily, how to look at things in a different light. I assure you that she has more strength and determination than I will ever have. I am a blessed mother!

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  23. Autism is...responsible for one of the kindest, most honest and genuine adults that I have ever met. Sometimes that shell keeps the goodness with the person.

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  24. Autism is what my son, TJ, controls...it does not control him! -Diana Silvers

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  25. hard sometimes, sometimes not so much.

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  26. Autism is an adventure that can be challenging but very rewarding and mind opening. It can also be a nightmare if you don't have the proper people in your life to help guide you through the adventure.

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  27. a journey of discovery.

    I am blessed to be the parent of a son challenged by Aspergers. We have learned so much about him, ourselves, and the world around us as we navigate the maze of autism. Along the way, we've partnered with amazing doctors, educators, and thereapists. We look forward to what the future holds for our son and his unique gifts and abilities. Thank you, Aaron for your courageous passion to tell your story and provide valuable insight and HOPE to those touched by autism spectrum disorders.

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  28. Autism is....The most discriminated against disibility there is. My son's neorologist had to treat him for 'sleep disorder' for years because if we even whispered the word autism our insurance would not have covered his medical expenses.

    God bless all the persons and advocates who have fought the long, hard battle to finally have the insurance regulations change this discrimination. How can a person on the spectrum start his life out being proud of who he/she is when they are told to "hide" their disibility right from the start!

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  29. Autism is. . . God's unique way to teach me how to trust Him. My 16 y.o. son, Josh, was diagnosed with Asperger's 3 yrs. ago. He is fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image. We struggle, ask questions of ourselves, to others, to God. And we keep hearing, "Press On". So we do and we continually learn more about ourselves and our son. He is so gifted and intelligent. He excels in his studies even though he struggles with the external demands of school. He has many goals he wants to achieve, many of which are beyond our own understanding. While we don't know what his future holds. We know who holds his future. Thank you, Aaron, for your honesty, candor, and sense of humor. You are an advocate for all who are on the spectrum of Autism. God is using you to give hope to many, many families.

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  30. Autism is unique, mysterious, intriguing. I am a student of Autism as I will continuously be learning about this mysterious "dis"ability. I am currently a paraprofessional but working on my Master's in Sped with an emphasis in Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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  31. I love all the positive posts I have read! Thank you, Aaron, for your courage to tell your story and for your amazing book "Finding Kansas." My son, Ben, was diagnosed with Autism (Asperger's) in May. He will be 7 in December. My new goal in life (along with being an elementary teacher) is to stand side by side, holding my son's hand when he reaches for it, and helping him to identify, understand, and accept the parts about him that are so wonderfully unique! I quickly learned that I am his best advocate, and am continually learning as much as possible to not only help Ben, but other students and their families. I thank God each and every day for blessing me with Ben, and for allowing me to take this journey with him.

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    1. My son was diagnosed at almost the same age. He had just turned 7 when he was diagnosed. I am also studying to be an elementary teacher... my degree is a dual major in elementary and special ed. I work as a substitute teacher now and LOVE every minute of it. My favorite class is work in is the EC class. They are amazing kids. My son is in the main stream classes and is thriving!!! He is in the best school in our district and has the best teachers and guidance counselor I could every ask for. He is now in 4th grade and reading on an 8th grade level. He thrives academically but struggles socially. I keep telling him he can do whatever he sets his brilliant mind to. I can't imagine my life without my AS son. He is my world!!!

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  32. Aspergers is a blessing because my daughter is a blessing. She has taught me another way of looking at thing in everyday life. Get to know some with Autism / Aspergers, your life will be blessed and will never will be the same.

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  33. Autism is FASCINATING.

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  34. Autism is the reason I get up in the morning and smile on my way to work. Autism helped me be a better friend.

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  35. My son is 17,we have known autism for 13 years of our lives.When we go out in public I feel like that deformed person everyone can't help but stare at.He isn't the one that is affended,but I am .

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  36. Autism is at times the most exhausting part of my day...two sons...one diagnosis...polar opposites...autism is realizing that what may work for one, will definitely not work for the other...autism is watching the light bulb go on after a particularly trying moment that says "I get it"...autism is holding the face of my son in my hands and wondering how I became so blessed to have created this beautiful child of God...autism is the hug after school that says "I had a really good day"...autism is the pain in my heart when the hug is because he has been rejected...autism is not a choice...autism just is...

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  37. My son is 14 and also autistic. I just asked him what is autism to him, he said a chemical imbalance in the brain. He added also i like doughnuts. One of the many surprises of autism. We get little extras when we ask him things. Extras that has nothing to do with what we ask him. As his mother autism to me is our way of life. To me he i perfectly normal. He has rules, chores and is very helpful around the house. Another good thing now he knows his own limitations, like he wanted to cook eggs here recently. I plugged oup my flat iron and stood at his side while he coked him some eggs then he liked it so much he wanted to cook enough for everyone. yes i let him lol. Then he looked at the stove and said moma i dont wanna use that because im not ready. Our stove is gas. I simply said thats ok your doing fine with this and i told him how proud of him i was.

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  38. Autisim is the label Dr's put on my son. I do not use it. Sometimes it may take him a little longer to process it, he might add somithing that does not need to be there and it might be so literal that it is inappropriate. But it's who he is so Autisim is what we make it!

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  39. Autism is God's way of saying I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH TO LET YOU GO....It's a miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  40. Autism is..beautiful,smart,loving and my son. It is a gift these kids that become adults are our genius of our future.

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  41. I'm going to add to this project. A few months ago I spoke to a classroom of 5th graders and one of them said it perfectly when, as I asked "what is autism?" they answered, "If I'm not mistaken, autism is that you see the world differently, right?" How right that 5th grader was!

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  42. I have autism..I got it whenI was 10,5 . I was happy when I found out what it was,cause I had been bullied for so lon for something I didn't know what it was, all iI knew was that I was different,and when I got a name for it, I became more happy, and yes I'm proud for having autism. I wouldn't take my diagnosis away. It's what makes me me, and I'm a fast learner..when I study for a test,I only need 20 minutes, I can't really describe autism .. but it what makes me me and I'm proud of it. Autism is not just seeing through a window..it is seeing through a window and noticing all the colours in the sky.
    One of my relatives have autism too,You couldn't tell that we have the same diagnosis..while I sit in a chair and talk just like other people,he runs around,in only underwear screaming "wiiiiie!!". Yeah..I can't write my whole life here..But if you wanna talk to me more about this.. Please contact me on e-mail: pyroclaw@hotmail.se
    (Yes I am from sweden)

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  43. Autism is fascinating, is my everyday world, is their first word at my office, is their first smile looking at my eyes, is their great grades at school, is their commitment to be a good friend, is what I'm blessed every day...Dulce Cota (La Paz, México)

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  44. ...the nightmare from hell that I live out everyday when my son is not accepted, recognized, included, spoken to appropriately, treated fairly when others decide to judge him for the differences they see but fail to work with.

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  45. Autism is.... AMAZING!!! I love my 17 year old son for who he is and would not change one thing about him!!!!!

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  46. Autism is an idividual thing...I have a 6 yo son diagnosed with Asperger's and he is a complete individual. He is completely different from anyone I know and even completely different from other people diagnosed with Asperger's. It is exhausting but I wouldn't change him for the world. He teaches me new ways of seeing things and I love him even though sometimes he gets so frustrated that he tells me he doesn't love me anymore. I am learning and he is teaching, I am teaching and he is learning.

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  47. Autism is

    Always
    Unique
    Totally
    Interesting
    Sometimes
    Mysterious

    My son has Aspergers

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    1. i LOVE this!!!! My son also has AS. Im gonna steal this saying.. I hope you don't mind :-)

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  48. Autism is the ability to say whatever you want, I am the parent of an 11 yr old boy and he definetly has this freedom

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  49. Autism is broad. I'm a professional, and got trained as an ABA Therapist years ago when my aunt noticed how I played/worked with my cousin (who was diagnosed with mild to moderate autism). He's 12 now; I remember when he was 3 and couldn't say a word and now he isn't exactly a chatter box but he can speak enough to have a conversation and he is just the most cheerful, witty, generous, honest guy! ABA is Beautiful.

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  50. Autism is LOVE!
    I am a parent and my son's biggest advocate! Until he can do this on his own!
    He is amazing! Autism is amazing!

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  51. There are some very great answers here but my favorite is from Jennifer in Sweden who said,

    "Autism is not just seeing through a window..it is seeing through a window and noticing all the colours in the sky."

    Very beautifully said Jennifer.

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  52. My grandson has the ability to tell you exactly what he thinks of you and what you are doing in the nicest possible way...no offence given or taken (for the most part)! He has taught me the colors of the rainbow, the literal way of thinking (his way) and understanding....what a gift he is to me....I see all the colors of the rainbow, not just the brightest ones now!!

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  53. ...just another lens with which to view the world and react to it.

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  54. So, many positive posts. That is amazing. We struggle with our son, of 20 years old who was diagnosed with Aspergers and BiPolar. We see very small, baby steps towards independence and adulthood but, the steps are so small with many steps backward. It is tough. Autism is... tricky. Escpecially with a dual diagnosis. Autism requires, from the parents,...strength, patience, love and committment.

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  55. Autism is just something my son has in the same way he has brown hair and hazel eyes. It doesn't define him as a person any more than then those traits do. They just help to describe the incredible person he is!

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  56. ...is just a special way of being, feeling,thinking, living and loving the entire world ;i feel proud of my 14 y.o. girl,she's an artist...

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  57. Autism is....being different! Not better, not worse, just different. Unfortunately it is not always easy to be different in a world that expects bland sameness.

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  58. An interesting outlook
    Unique in all the ways
    Trying to fit in
    In many ways misunderstood
    See the way I do.
    Meaning added to life

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  59. Thank you for writing Finding Kansas. I have a son with autism who is in 8th grade and it has helped me to see things from another perspective, maybe even his perspective. I believe he is experiencing what you call a "first". He had a friend but as his friend grew up, he changed as most kids do. My son wanted the friendship to remain exactly the same. He wanted to do the same thing they did in 4th grade over and over again, and his friend kind of "outgrew" him- mostly because my son was locked into his idea of the friendship and his mind would not allow him to grow. So far, I haven't been too successful helping him with it, but reading your book helps me to understand why it is so difficult for him. I know that you said that your hope is for someone to write to you and say they understand, and while I'm not all the way there, I believe reading your book has brought me closer. Thank you.

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  60. Autism is being at the ballpark with my best friends; my father in-law and my 6 year old son; while the former talks my ear off and the latter watches the scoreboard instead of the game. I love them both, and they are fascinating, good people whose characteristics I would NOT change it for all the tea in China.

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  61. Autism is... a gift. I am the proud parent of a 15yr old boy on the spectrum (Aspergers), he is my light, my life and my love. Life is not always peaches and cream, but at the end of everyday I am proud to be his Mom and grateful to have him in my life. He has inspired people, amazed people and confused people. He and I help spread the awareness of Autism. Vancouver BC Canada

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  62. im a parent on the spectrum with two boys on the spectrum so its my life i dont know any better and do not really see what the big deal is about being different

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  63. my guide to salvation. I learn more from my 15yr. old son, who is autistic, about love, respect, patience, giving, and what matters in life than I do in church.

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  64. Autism is.... a challenge. My 9 year old son has aspergers and tourette syndrome.

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  65. Autism is enlightening - like peeling back the layers and seeing to what truly is beneath. I have a 8 year old son high functioning ASD, and my brothers all possess traits, the eldest is 35 and my dad displays these tendencies too. I love how positive the comments are above. It also shows you to appreciate those moments when they say I love you, because it doesn't happen very often. Will try to get your book.

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  66. proud grandparent of my autistic grandson 5 year old so smart, handsome, and kind.
    Autism.... can be a lonely hard life, constant worry about now and the future, and wish the world was an easier place for the many autistic people who are learning to survive in it....

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  67. Autism is less of a mystery to me due to Aaron Liken's blog, book and presentations.

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  68. Something I am much more aware of now. Thank you for all that you have shared Aaron :-)

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  69. Autism is an abnormal working memory. For some reason, the slightly misproportioned brain size is unable to use working memory effectively and can't see the big picture, which isn't a bad thing. There's some miscommunication between working memory in the frontal lobe and long term in the temporal. Instead of using my working memory I use my long term memory. I have AS.

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  70. Autism is teaching my students about patience, understanding, acceptance, love and the joy that comes from laughing just because it feels good and jumping up to dance with the music. I am a grade 4 teacher blessed to have a student with autism as a valued member of her class.

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  71. Autism is a heart breaker. I can't say it is awesome and wonderful when it keeps a beautiful child locked in his own head, unable to tell us if he is hurt or sick. I can't find one good thing to say about it. I can find endless good things to say about our little boy and others who are on the spectrum. Every child is a blessing. Autism is not. People can learn patience and joy from other sources. Cure Autism now!

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    1. Autism not all curse. It helps others gain open-mindedness and it creates unity to help someone with autism! Sure, there are times when it is frustraring. God never made a cure for autism, because it is a beautiful thing that creates unity among others. I speak from personal experience.

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    2. I have Asperger's myself and I never experienced it as being a curse. When I tell about it, a lot of people go 'aww, poor you', but that's unneccessary. Of course, sometimes it's hard, but isn't anything in life? Sometimes it's a blessing too. I encourage you to read my blogpost where I highlight the positive things on Autism, since I think those are ignored far too often: http://thedailydaysofanasperger.blogspot.com/2012/05/positive.html

      And remember: I'm a person on the spectrum myself, I'm not just saying this. This is how I truly feel about it. If I could cure Autism, I would deny it, since I feel Autism has made me who I am.

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    3. I have Asperger's too and I'm with anonymous. I could be in the "autism is beautiful" crowd as easily as Issha if my life were the only one I had to consider. Fact is, I'm a mom now. My son is severely affected and it is not beautiful. He is helpless in a dangerous and cruel world. I will not always be alive to protect him. Autism is a heart breaker.

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  72. Autism is a THISability. Yes, "this"...because every autistic I have ever met, whether low or high functioning has a specific ability that goes beyond our understanding. My son has Asperger syndrome, he is an amazing artist and has an incredible memory for specific things. He is also an amazing human being. He is not Disabled, he is THISabled because he is able to help us grow and see the world through his art and through his eyes.

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  73. Austim is a filtering issue. Everything seems to be more intense for me. My family members have often told me that I am too sensitive. It makes me feel so alone but the pain of interaction is so uncomfartable I have to take things much slower and ofter get left behind. I have 2 boys one who also has aspergers age 16 and one more severe age 11. Life is a challenge! Keep moving forward! Fellow Asperger

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  74. what keeps me going. I am dedicated to helping my students find their way through this maze and puzzle that is Autism. They are each such wonderful individual people that I love! Thanks Aaron for doing what you do!! :)

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  75. Autism is an eye opener, a source of worry, and a source of answers. My five year old was recently re-diagnosed from YCDD-Speech and Language to Aspergers. As a special education teacher who works with students with severe disabilities, it has opened my eyes to what families go through on a daily basis. It makes me worry about the future as my son enters kindergarten next year. How will he do? Will his teachers love him as much as I do? But it answers his energy level, his sense of humor (which is really funny and quirky), and the way he relates to the world and everyone around him.

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  76. Autism is a difference not a disease. It is a diagnosis not a definition of who you are. I am the proud mom of an amazing young man on the spectrum.

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  77. People with autism can be successful, can make friends, can be liked, and can prevail over others! It's a matter of time. Early intervention is KEY! It's a blessing and a curse!

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  78. Like butmom said, autism is a difference, not a disease. I speak from personal experience. I am my own advocate!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOfoXDymFZA
    Go to the URL above. It applies to people with autism and those without.

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  79. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOfoXDymFZA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVM85dl-61E
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOtsB4O1p3o

    These songs are very much like what people like Aaron Likens experience.

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  80. Autism is a situation in which it seems like your peers all got together and discussed the acceptable standards for how people were going to think, act, talk and dress, etc. and you missed that crucial meeting so have to figure all of these things out through observation (with lots of trial and error).

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  81. Scary...my son was just diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome...at 22. I am searching for ways to help him.

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    1. Read Tony Attwood - he's wonderfully positive about Aspergers and is a great resource. Your son hasn't changed; he's still the same person, this diagnosis will hopefully help you and him to understand him better and feel good about who he is. I know it's tough when you hear the diagnosis but give it a couple of weeks, read up on it and let it sink in that your son is still the same person you loved before he was diagnosed.
      http://www.tonyattwood.com.au

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  82. Scary...my son was just diagnosed at age 22 with Asperger's and I really want to help him succeed in life.

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  83. Right brain and autism is a strange combination! Mr. Holmes, the computers teacher, keeps telling me to "stop playing with the effects and get to work!" Ms. Uhlig supports my mind set and tells me to "keep being creative."

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  84. Being different, not defective! Praying mantises are praying mantises, not defective worms. Chameleons are chameleons, not defective bearded dragons.

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  85. Those "cure autism" people are haters. They so not see that autism is a blessing as well! I still love, but I prefer animals over humans. If you have a pet fish, I will look at it. If you have a pet snake, I will want to feed/hold it. If you have a pet, I will want to play with it, even the world's largest tarantula! I actually prefer snakes over everything! Snakes are snakes, not a defective anything else, so don't implant legs on them thinking it will make them "acceptable."

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  86. Autism is just normality for us. Anything else is just weird.

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  87. Autism is a different lens through which people see the world. Not better, not worse, just different. And that different view can sometimes produce insights no-one expected.

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  88. Autism is my greatest strength, and also my greatest weakness. Everyone is good at some things, and bad at others, but what are you supposed to do if your best quality and your worst flaw are actually the same thing? How do I fit in with the world - a neurological alien doing a poor impression of an "ordinary human"?

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  89. My daughter aged 13yrs has said several thought provoking words since she was diagnosed Asbergers/ASD/other 2 years ago...once during an emotional moment she burst out crying saying "If only you could see my brain, be in my head"....or more recently after a difficult period of not eating and losing tremendous amounts of weight "what is MY purpose in life? Why am i here?" and then feeling lower she muttered "i have no purpose that i can see, i should be dead" ...scary scary words from such a young girl...yet she and i share several similarities, i sat her down and explained i hate crowds too, new places/things not familar/being centre of attention..Autism to us is normal, my girl is normal just like her siblings, she just expresses things differently and is an awful worrier...

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  90. a learning curve! My son was diagnosed at 20 as well. He is the most loving and happiest of my 3 children. He is of strong character and loves people. He has his social misfit parts of his personality, but it is easy to overlook that once you get to know him. He has had jobs, just not permanent full time ones. At 26 I think he worries about that and wishes people would give him more of a chance. He doesn't do well in interviews, so employers need to understand that social misfits do not mean that they are unable to work it just means they need a bit more understanding! My boy is a great worker when he is given the chance to prove himself!

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  91. ...my life being twice blessed!I have two teen daughters with autism and tho there are tough moments, I have learned more uncondtional love from my girls than I ever thought possible!

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  92. Autism is ASD to my own life. I am 56 and I was diagnosed about 3 years ago. I spent my life wondering why I couldn't quite fit in. "He us just shy" I herd directly in front of me, over and over.
    I knew I had a special curiosity in certain directions. I knew I was intelligent and had a different viewpoint. I figured out I could do anything I put my mind to by the time I was 22. But I didn't succeed. As I could not put the social and networking part to work. I have been homeless 4 or 5 times. Living alone other times and not knowing how to find a partner. I wasted much of my life with the wrong choices. As they would not put me in the path I needed. I worked menial jobs for many years.
    I had no concept of college. and no one pointed me in that direction.I was afraid to be with the people who are there. I made it through a curriculum at 30 where I became a Psych nurse. It taught me to understand people and feelings and how to look people in the eye. Then I stopped. I left that situation from burn out as I never quite made it where I needed to be with people. Everyday was telling myself I can do this. And imitating the people around me to fit in.
    Now I look away again. Now I fight of the feelings of being cheated. Or feeling misunderstood for most of my life. People who don't get autism find it the target of jokes and put downs. But something in me keeps me going even at this age to find what I am suppose to be doing. I am glad I found this blog.

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    1. I am 71 and always wondered why I was different in some ways. I could perform or speak in front of people but on a one to one basis I had issues unless I had a level of comfort. I was busted a month ago by an Aspie was with me on a photo project who declared that he thought i was Aspie. That was the key that started to put the puzzle together. I decided it was time to find out the truth once and for all. I went to undergrad and grad getting degrees and in many cases if I was motivated skated through the classes. Now there are many things, some big and others minor that are fitting together. I have the visual ability for photography and am an accomplished pianist when I have time to practice. I have a high level racing bike but I was really awkward in throwing a ball or playing a contact sport which caused issues since I was "different" but did not know I was. I adjusted like you did and was able to be sociable but in a group situation such as religion I was totally unfocused.

      I am waiting for the eval and dx and am fortunate to have support from friends and new friends within the community. Some of the myths have been cleared up as I know that it isn't "one size fits all" for Aspies. My goal is to get the truth and then use my own skills to speak at groups to help to get rid of the myths. My biggest problem is our education system where most teachers are neither trained nor certified to work with ASD children. Luckily we have the Autism Society of Minnesota where others like myself are trying to improve that situation. Too many educators still have the myth concept as well as most NT's. I admire the quote by Tony Attwood: "I see people with Asperger's syndrome as a bright thread in the rich tapestry of life". How true but how sad that the guy sweeping the floors in a building could be the next Bill Gates.

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  93. ...God's way of saying "You will understand what Jesus went through." My Kansas is animals. I can recognize animal behaviors at first (or second) glance. Praying manti rock when they hunt to see more prey. Bearded dragons wave to show submission or to sneak up on a tasty waxworm. Animals are my passion.

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  94. Autism is the way the Universe or God sent His Message to me: "Look people in their eyes, be pattient, be objective, make yourself understood, be honest, be altruist, be human. Doing these things you will became a better human being day after day." I am sure that if everyone had experienced what I did, there would be much more love in this world. I 'm a mother of a lovely six-year-old autistic boy and this is my view about autism. This is the message I finally read in the underlines of my life after four years living with the diagnosis. So, for me autism is love.

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  95. Autism a different way of seeing and sensing the world. It is trying to teach all of the commonalities that everyone else takes for granted.

    In my five year old daughter's words, whose grown up with her seven year old brother who has ASD, "autism is sometimes having 'mad bones' and maybe some storm clouds too."

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  96. A life worth living

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  97. A slew of caterpillars, crickets, flightless fruit flies, maggots, and a baby spider

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  98. A word to describe my understanding of God and His works

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  99. Autism is a lifestyle, not merely a diagnosis. A way of life for the entire family.

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  100. Autism is... that thing that makes me feel eccentric and different (but in a good way!)

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  101. Autism is...a rollercoaster that doesn't stop. It has enjoyable, marvelous parts. It also has unfamiliar, mysterious parts. I am speaking as the mother of my eight-year-old son. The more I learn, the more I know there's more to learn. It can be consuming for us, and it can be wondrous. I feel like I am always trying to find the right balance...of what I'm not sure. I am on this ride with my son...by his side. We have more great days than awful days since there is no in between, yet. If it exists. This I know for sure: more teachers in public schools need to be educated. Many choose ignorance because it is easier on them. It's a shame - they are missing out on learning to look at things from a very interesting perspective.

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  102. Frustratingly awesome!

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  103. Autism is... the greatest mystery novel imaginable, with so many twists & turns, and complete surprises, you can never guess how it is going to end. -On behalf of my ASD daughter age 9, and my ASD brother age 42.

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  104. Autism is... just one of the things that make my son the wonderful, bright, loving, challenging, complicated and mind-blowing child he is.

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  105. Autism is... no place for wimps. It's a tough condition to live with from either side of the occasional divide...

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  106. AUTISM IS ...as a mother of ayoung person with autism. Good days,bad days,fun and a pleasure to be with,hard to live with, amusing with a great sense of humour,sad and heart wrenching.a ray of sunshine on arainy day, your worst nightmare you could never imagine,a beautiful smile and the purest of minds. Im so glad he's minexxx

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  107. Autism is like box of chocolates ...

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    1. No like button here, but LIKE ....

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    2. i like this, but no like button... so true.. my son is a wonderful man

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  108. Autism is... a journey very new to me for my son. A journey I wouldnt change. I love my son and he has taught me so much about life!

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  109. Autism is . . . a blessed, joyful, heart-stretching, sleep-draining, imagination-building, tear-jerking, prayer-inducing, family-uniting, wallet-challenging, school-confounding, love-growing pain in the butt.

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  110. Autism is... a part of my life that I would not know how to live without.

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  111. Autism is a special boy that was born to me to care for to fight for and think outside the box for,i thank my son for beleiving in me and helping me see the world though his eyes.

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  112. Autism is sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse, but always part of me. It is my greatest weakness and my greatest strength. It sometimes leads to my inability to comprehend, and sometimes leads to my deepest understandings. It does not define who I am, but does define part of why I am me.

    All, in all, I would not have my life any other way.

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  113. today I´m just a desperate mother. The main difficulty with my son is that we have to invest a lot, massive amount of energy to try to show the people they can have a "normal" life......What a lie!!!!!!! my son is very intelligent, kind, good, handsome.......but the cocktail is that he can not survive without me. We are in nowhere land. At the end what I get is that WE MUST FIND another place to let this kids be as they want.......For my today is not possible to play the roll that we are a very nice and adapted family, today I want to cry. Meles

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  114. Amazing
    Unique
    Trying
    Individual
    Special
    Me

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  115. Amazing
    Unique
    Testing
    Individual
    Special
    Me

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  116. Autism is a beautiful arrangement of our chemistry,
    Autism is a myriad of unkowns,
    Yet all thie knowns I have unravelled I do so enjoy
    Autism is another perspective, an alternative to the
    black, a little shade of grey and a vibrant purple hue
    round the suns corona.

    Autism is an unconditional love.
    Autism has its own perfect.

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  117. . . . not being able to creatively finish a sentence.
    --From someone who got a D- on a Sophomore English assignment to creatively finish a story, and went on to get an MA in linguistics

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  118. Very hard work! My 10 year old was diagnosed at age 6. He has tought me lot of things

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  119. ...honest, profound and a reality

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  120. Enlightening. My 20 year old son was diagnosed at 5 with Asperger's and I was diagnosed at the end of January last year with it. Explains why I was able to relate and understand better and even though we haven't had much time together we have a very very strong bond.

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  121. Enlightening. I was diagnosed at the end of January last year with Asperger's after just turning 39 and my 20 year old son has it and was diagnosed at 5. We are very very much alike even though we haven't spent much time together. Our mannerisms are almost identical. And we are very very very close. :)

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  122. Autism is fascinating, interesting and challenging. I am a teacher of children with various special needs, but I enjoy working with children on the spectrum the most. I said it in another comment, but I will say it again, I love your blog and I look forward to reading everyday.

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  123. Sometimes, and often so very very painful.
    Somehow always completely alone. Yet also completely connected to everything and so never alone.
    Most often, blessed, joyful, hilarious, loving, amazing, constant newness and discovery everday and unquenchable joy at this existence.
    Me.

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  124. Mind blowing, every day with my son I learn something new but most of all I have learnt that even with autism he is still my son and he will love me unconditionally as I love him, autism and all.

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  125. autism is the reason for my efforts, my life and my dreams. Thank you for your post. Inmaculada (España)

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  126. A different way of seeing things.

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  127. A different way of seeing things.

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  128. Autism is what makes my son my son. Anything else would be wrong.

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    1. Sidsel Anita Itland, a mother.September 30, 2012 at 3:30 AM

      Thankyou! That could have been my words too.

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  129. Sidsel Anita Itland, a mother.September 30, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Autism is a balance between laughter and seriousness.

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  130. Autism is a challenge...caring individuals help a great deal.

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  131. Autism is a challenge that we have to join together to find a cure for. Research is so scattered and not developing quickly enough...it is difficult to be patient particularly when you see research dollars squandered in my opinion.

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  132. Autism is radical honesty, sensory overload, and individuality rolled into one package.

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  133. Autism is a way of being. A way of seeing. A way of feeling.
    Not better than others, 'mainstream', not worst. Possibly different. And for us - living with autism spectrum - it is the most natural way of being, seeing things and feeling.

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  134. ...Like a flute. You have many holes, nut something beautiful is always the result of practice and patience.

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  135. ...my son. I love him so very much, but he doubts my love. He denies having AS. He believes that his view of the world is correct and most others have the wrong view. He was diagnosed at age 21, and still gets very angry with me when he thinks about how I made him go to a "shyster" psychiatrist to be diagnosed. He speaks of social isolation and constantly talks about the past. But the past cannot be changed, is what I say. But talk about it we must, sometimes for many hours at a time. I am exhausted. He is also brilliant and almost finished university.
    What happens next is anyones guess.

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    1. i love this! it makes so much sense that he would! Good Luck with that!

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  136. ...living in a more hostile, yet more beautiful world.

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  137. Perplexing. Always. Ours doubly so as Molly was born with Down Syndrome first...the Autism came in later than with NTs...at about age 6. She is non-verbal now. Everything that is going on has to be discovered. It's a good thing my husband was a detective with the State Patrol! It's exactly the kind of logical thinking we have to use to even determine the difference between illness or skunkness!!

    Autism is Perplexing....and interesting. And keeps us on our toes and our heads in the game.

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  138. My son, our adventure!

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  139. Autism is me and my sweet boy-22 now. We have both been diagnosed and it is great to have someone who understands. I'm 52 and just learning who I really am and accepting myself and my son as we are and not trying to be society's "normal" anymore. We are each unique in our own way. We can all be part of this society and be a positive influence with Asperger's syndrome. We can all survive. It is great to be different, why don't they teach that in the public schools?

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  140. Autism is a wake up call that we can't take for granted things in our environment, the food we feed our children and medications we plug in them. It is a wake up call that we as a society are doing something terribly wrong and it is impacting thousands of children. These are incredible kids but with challenges no mother wishes upon her child.

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  141. Autism is just another way that one person can be different from everyone else. How boring would this world be if everyone were the same. Although, after having read many of these blogs I do realize that if everyone were the same it would probably aleve some of the anxiety you and other on the spectrum deal with on a daily basis by taking away the "unknown" factor of dealing with everyday life. But my, it would get old very fast, I think.

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  142. .. the next step in human evolution?

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  143. ...the next step in human evolution?

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