Me and my girl and boy, raising awareness and acceptance of autism

April is Autism Awareness Month – Day 2 of 30.

Anyone living with/caring for someone on the autistic spectrum knows that the need for awareness and acceptance is 24/7, all year around.

Today – World Autism Awareness Day or #WAAD – is a chance to try and educate those people who aren’t aware of how autism affects carers and individuals.

It’s also a chance to demonstrate that, despite what is portrayed in the media, people on the spectrum aren’t evil monsters but at the same time, highlight that autism is an invisible disability. It’s a big ask to expect people who aren’t aware to look beyond their initial perceptions and judgements.

All the children below have autism/aspergers. All have a life-long disability, they can’t be cured but, hopefully, they will learn to develop coping strategies.

Can you look at these pictures taken today and tell they have autism? All photos used with parental permission.

This is J….playing:

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This is S….travelling on a bus:

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This is L-M…having a drink:

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This is C…showing his Easter choc (I wonder if they’re in his tum yet!):

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This is E…..laughing:

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This is Z….riding a carousel:

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This is E….being Spider-Man:

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Another Spider-Man, this is R:

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This is S…looking gorgeous:

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This is L….handy in the kitchen:

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This is A ….being Mario:

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This is A….looking handsome:

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This is E….looking like a film star:

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This is E….looking thoughtful:

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This is J….another Spider-Man!

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These are T and S….two brothers (love the costume):

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This is T….playing:

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This is B….taking a break:

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This is J….looking cheeky!

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These are cousins J and J….looking very smart:

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This is M, playing with his brother J:

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This is D……with her faithful Bunny:

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This is T….reading:

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These pictures are great aren’t they? But, as I said in a previous post:

The Camera DOES lie:

My daughter is 8 years old. If you saw her in a photograph, you’d think “pretty girl, nice smile” – if you met her in person, I’m sure your perceptions would change.

You see, my daughter has autism or ASD – also known as the “invisible disability”. The autistic spectrum is wide and varies from mild to moderate to severe difficulties.

Autism affects my daughter in many ways but the main three are:
Speech & language difficulties
Delayed social skills
Obsessive compulsive disorder.
She also has delayed motor skills and heightened sensory awareness.

Fortunately for me, my daughter is verbal but when her anxieties take over (which they do if she is faced with a change of routine/sensory skills overload/an unfamiliar situation), she will either bolt (run away fast without thought for her own or others safety) or meltdown (totally emotional and sometimes violent outburst).

I risk assess everything before we travel anywhere – even a trip to the supermarket has to be done at a quiet time and we use her special needs buggy as her comfort zone. Even then a person in the next aisle may look threatening to her or she will be startled by a sudden noise and she will want to leave immediately.

So, that child breaking down in public may not necessarily be “behaving badly” – look beyond your initial thoughts and at the wider picture.

Let’s hope that the coming year brings greater awareness and acceptance for those children pictured above and everybody within the vast spectrum, it’s a wish I’ll be making.

Thanks for reading on World Autism Awareness Day.

J x A very proud Mumma

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Comments on: "#WAAD A photo blog for World Autism Awareness Day. This IS autism/aspergers… Day 2 of 30" (21)

  1. Jeanette I love this blog much. It made me cry. I wish people would just listen and be more understanding and compassionate. I’m so fortunate to be at the stage with Harrison we are. He’s doing amazing but it can still be so physically and emotional draining. I just wish I had more people around me that understood us more. And with blogs like this, it definitely gives me hope.
    Much love xxx

  2. A beautiful post….not your writing this time J…..the pictures say it all. My toddlers posed for a photo today and we did light it up blue…for my eldest who has autistic traits within 22q11 deletion syndrome and for the friends i have made who have children with autism. Here to support xx

  3. Fabulous post and a reminder that people shouldn’t judge others, either by their appearance or behaviour, which they may be seeing entirely out of context.

  4. Fantastic Post, all the kids are beautiful, and I really don’t think you can tell from a photograph, this caused a big debate between me and my partner the other day who reckons he can tell from a photo. I’ll have to show him yours and see what he thinks. I also did a post on the invisibility of autism for #WAAD

  5. Lovely post J. I’d already read it when you posted, but reading and commenting now via #PoCoLo. Funny enough the post I have added to this linky has pictures in support of Autism Awareness. Something close to my heart as my eldest has autistic traits with his disability so I have a glimpse of your daily struggles xxx

    • Thank you again K, it seemed appropriate to link it in again, I love writing but sometimes the pictures speak for themselves don’t they. Will have a #PoCoLo read a bit later x

  6. That a fantastic post we are all guilty of making judgments and who are we to judge?

  7. What a fantastic post – all such beautiful kids :). Thank you so much for linking such an important post to PoCoLo and I hope I can support you as much as you do me xx

  8. Beautiful children. And thanks for raising awareness like this – it’s a really powerful post. I’m reading lots of blogs by parents of children with autism, and I previously had no idea of the complex issues you face. It’s a great way to spread the word and increase understanding. #PoCoLo

  9. A really important post. We can’t really understand. I’m glad you explained you had one daughter- I was beginning to think all the kids were yours!! We all need to understand & posts like yours give us a starting point to consider. Thanks for letting us read it.

  10. […] photos, demonstrating that autism is indeed invisible. I compiled a photo blog on April 2nd – click here to view – I always think they’re very […]

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