A blog post from George (9) and Bev (not 9)
April was Autism Awareness month but we are now in May and we personally didn’t get to do anything to promote Autism Awareness (or even better Autism Acceptance). So today we are going to hi-jack this page to share some thoughts about Autism.
George is awesomely autistic, so he is the expert here, Bev (mum) is just going to help a bit.
Autism is not an illness, it means your brain works in a different way to most other people. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently. Autistic people share certain traits but being autistic will affect each person in different ways.
Many autistic people have repetitive behaviour, big interests, they might feel and see things differently and often struggle with speech and non verbal communication. Sometimes we only want to focus on a couple of things and some of us don’t need much sleep or can’t sleep because we are thinking. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues and other conditions. Each autistic person is unique and will need different kinds of support.
A lot of difficulties that Autistic people experience is because the world doesn’t really think about us... at shopping centres the lights are too bright and the music too loud for many autistic people to cope with. They change this during Autism Hour.
Sometimes people say ‘we are all a bit autistic’, what they often mean by this is that there are some parts of Autism that they are able to relate to. Commonalities can be really helpful in enabling people to understand each other but only 1% of the population has a diagnosis - so we are quite rare! People with a diagnosis generally have an experience that goes way beyond what people outside of it experience. Sometimes the tendencies can be seriously disabling, especially because our society in general, isn’t designed with autistic people in mind.
People can help autistic people by turning the lights down but this won’t help all autistic people, I really like disco lights, so the best thing really is to just ask.
Autistic people can also help you because we have some great ideas.
People make guesses about autistic people but the guesses might be wrong, the best thing is to just ask.
In Philippians 2:4 St Paul says ‘Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.’
It’s good to understand one another!
George and Bev
The reflections here are written by members of our congregation.