As a self-aware Autistic parent to an Autistic child, we have been so in tune with one another since the day she was born. But— Despite how hard they tried, non-autistic family members’ instincts failed them when it came to my kid, signs of autism in infants
It was a huge mistake to separate us. They didn’t know how to read her, and she would make things worse. My parents’ and grandparents’ experiences were similar. My mother was unable to read me on an instinctive level, no matter how much we loved each other. I was seen as stubborn, obstinate, and slothful.
My favorite thing in the world was to be with my maternal grandparents. All I wanted to do was work with my grandpa. I didn’t care about trips or material goods or toys or parks. Given the choice, I’d rather spend time with him than same-age peers.
I just wanted to be his sidekick and do what he did, and he loved it. I accompanied him to his real job and carried out very adult duties such as testing water quality at the water plant on a daily basis for purity and ensuring that everything was in working order.
I was the only one who didn’t fear him, and it’s a little amusing, but I found him to be so warm and loving. He lived only two houses away from me, and I made every minute I could save with him.
Now, it’s amusing that many people regard me as frightening, but my child thinks I— and her autistic father — are the nicest and most loving individuals ever. Our instincts are not in conflict.
Autism is not a collection of deficits. It’s a distinct personality with different values and instincts.
Even if someone else’s definitions are used, autism is not a collection of medical disorders, even though those things happen more frequently among us. It isn’t anything that happens after meningitis. It isn’t epigenetic either.
A number of different sounds, sights, textures, and tastes are detected by the senses. Sensory issues are only minor aspects of what autism is.
It’s not a catch-all term for genetic disorders. It’s not a temper tantrum. It’s not an introvert.
See Also signs of autism in infants
Accidentally, Autism Speaks Gets It Right
Many autistics despise Autism Speaks, which is considered a hate group by many within our community.
Sure, I’m sure you do. Human rights aren’t the same thing as animal rights. While it’s true that some species are more evolved than others, that isn’t the issue; it’s how they treat people that matters. It’s a couple of degrees removed from my personal life and politics when compared to other atheists who have been active in.
According to the press release, Autism Speaks is currently running prime-time commercials about a free toddler autism screening tool. I’ll also provide a link below.
They inadvertently showed that we aren’t broken or lagging when it comes to abilities, but rather than having different instincts.
It’s in our nature to be that way!
That’s why we are so in sync (not just with this, but with everything). We’re on a parallel path to discover ourselves as individuals and belonging to a community in many of my friendships with Autistic individuals.
That’s me, having done A LOT of work to get in touch with my autistic nature, when I realized that we more instinctively are searching for processing in others rather than social and emotional communication.
As a parent of an autistic who gets to live this in real time, I get to experience it all. As an activist and CEO of an autism-related organization, as well as a parent and spouse of an autistic, I can really sample various forms of being autistic in my daily life.
During a meeting with our board chair, our chief communication officer, and some individuals in leadership roles from another company that works with kids with disabilities, this enlightenment hit me.
I’ve always been a big believer in fate, destiny, and synchronicity. In this case, it’s not just about how our past shapes us; but rather how we choose to see the world around us. It was as if I’d known her all my life.
It was just another day at the beach for me. When I started to describe myself, I realized that this is a topic about which many people—especially neurotypicals—have no idea. Now, suppose a neurotypical individual had said it would have been appropriating neurodivergence. But I understood exactly what she meant. She was.
I spent the whole day thinking about what it was about her that drew me to her so strongly. I kept rewinding and replaying the memory (that’s an autistic trait), and those parts that were significant usually “glow” in my internal video memories. My cognitive trek followed this order:
It was her face that drew me in at first.
It was her facial expressions that gave away the character.
But what about the others?
It was in her eyes.
But what about them? I was focusing my attention on other things… this isn’t some metacognitive eye contact rambling.
I keep seeing words that weren’t spoken, yet I read them in her face: a future she would bring forth. A vision of which she was aware but had not yet expressed. Vivid Emotions are involved.
Then it dawned on me! Most people would’ve noticed her wide-eyed staring into the distance as a sign to “look over there.” I knew what she was doing at an instinctive level. She was ecstatic and hopeful about the future, singing with abandon.
She didn’t appear to be sending any signals with her facial expressions. She was simply working through it.
I was drawn to her optimism. Her Extremely Large Feelings.
That was the end of it. It clarified everything and I had to go through a thousand recollections.