Shows no empathy, affection or compassion. This is what we read about Autism all the time. We've all heard countless times how Autism is a spectrum and that is correct. However, that is not our experience of Autism. This is Autism for us...
Autism is dropping your sweet child at preschool the week before schools out for the summer and watching him break down when he sees his special hand-made, tie-dye graduation tee. Breaking down, not because he doesn't like what it looks like, or because of the color, or because it will itch, but breaking down because he feels sad. Sad that school will be over. A deep sadness that he won't experience the incredible day-to-day encounters with his oh-so-special teachers and classmates. Anxiety, of course, that he has to leave this safe place of acceptance, encouragement and belonging. Knowing he has to leave the very familiar environment, behaviors and routine that he has worked so hard to make his norm.
Autism is seeing your child meltdown when his sister, friend or classmate is upset. Melting down not because of sensitivity to the noise, but because he is heartbroken that they are feeling sad.
Autism is cuddles, kisses and eyelash tickles all day long, and I mean ALL DAY LONG.
Empathy, deep, deep empathy. Affection. Compassion. THIS is Autism too.