Today is World Autism Awareness Day, raising public awareness of the condition and ensuring everyone living with autism gets the support they need. Get a better understanding of the condition with a selection of OUPblog articles.

  1. From art to autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith
  2. The new DSM-5: changes in the diagnosis of autism and intellectual disability
  3. Way to be autism aware
  4. ASD is now the approved new diagnostic category for autism
  5. Autism is many diseases
  6. Autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith
  7. Can a child with autism recover?
  8. Is there an epidemic of autism?
  9. Finding and classifying autism for effective intervention

What are you doing for World Autism Awareness Day?

Image credit: Hand writing the word Autism on a chalkboard under colorful puzzle piece drawings. Image by sdominick, iStockphoto.

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Person with a smug expression on their face leaning up against a white radiator. They are wearing a blue hoodie and a knitted rainbow scarf looped around their neck multiple times. /END DESCRIPTION]

This is what autism looks like.

My name is Squeek. I’m 23 years old and I’ve done this in the past (back in April 2013).

I grew up as ‘the odd child’ (little smart, avid reader, and a knowledge sponge) and, once I moved to the States, it became very apparent that my ability to socialize/form ‘meaningful peer bonds’/react ‘normally’ to social situations lagged far behind my peer group.

While my diagnosis has never been solidified, I was talked to by my doctor at around age 11-14 ‘because you have the classic markers of Asperger’s Syndrome.’ She offered for me to agree (thus having it put down on my records for life) or for me to say no.

I said no.

I was already the odd kid out. I didn’t want, or feel the need, to have another label slapped onto my growing list of insults/not who I am, hey LOOK! markers. (British, mosquito, bitch, terrorist, slow, chubby, etc)

Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened if I’d said ‘yes.’ Would have anything changed for me?

I know my story isn’t typical. And the more I hear, it’s downright bizarre. I was offered a choice…and my mother- for all of her speaking over me/ignoring certain aspects- allowed me the choice.

But, I am who I am. (And what I am like is not like the stereotype you think I am)

I am a university graduate in a field that most stereotypes would have you ignore as viable for any autistic person.

I already have one master’s degree, am working on another, and am currently in negotiations for going on and doing my PhD.

I want to work for the police (or failing that, a Forensic Science company)…though it’s looking like I’ll end up becoming a professor in Archaeology.

I sew. I fence. I work out at the gym (even if I’m constantly running into workout equipment).

And for all intents and purposes, I am invisible because of what the stereotype would have you think.

I am not a puzzle piece.

Nor did I suddenly stop being autistic when I hit age 18.

My name is Squeek. I have autism (or, as I feel is more correct I am autistic). The only reason I suffer from it is because of a society that expects me to dance a jig I only have half the steps for.

I do not want your willing ignorance. I do not want to become the “AUTISTIC PERSON DOES SOMETHING!” I am a valid human being with everything I am, not despite of what I am.

3

This is my brother William, and he is #Autistic

William was born the day after my 9th birthday on October 15th at 11:58pm.

There were complications, and we weren’t really sure if he and my mom were going to make it. William’s the 10th in our family of 11 children, and kind of our miracle child.

Before William was born, we all took bets on his weight to determine who would get to hold him first.

I won the bet, but William stayed in the ICU for another two weeks after my mom came home, so I couldn’t hold him until then.

I saw him for the first time through a glass window. He had needles taped to his hands, a tiny, round, little face, big eyes, and spiky black hair.

We didn’t know William was autistic until he turned 3 and still wasn’t talking.

To be honest, at 12, whether William was autistic or not made no difference to me, still doesn’t, but there’s something about watching your 6 year old brother spell his name on a piece of paper when you weren’t even sure he’d ever talk or write on his own that just hits you right in the soul.

William had a language I didn’t realize only my family understood until I saw other people try to interact with him.

They couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, and all I could think was, “wow, he wants you to not pinch his cheeks, lady.”

When William turned 7, he started talking. Like, really talking. The funny part is, I was so used to understanding grunts, mumbles, blabber, and gestures, I didn’t even notice.

A friend who hadn’t seen William in a while came over and said, “Whoa, Dana, he’s talking!”

Since then, William hasn’t stopped talking.

These days he sleeps on the bottom bunk of our bunk bed in the room he shares with my sister and I.

He wakes up at 5am and whispers, “Dana? Is anyone there? I’m so humgry.”

(HuMgry not huNgry.)

He plays with the neighbor kids, and laughs like a hyena over the most ridiculous things.
And he’s obsessed with all of us being his “fwends” forever.

William has autism, I know.

But to me he’s just my crazy kid brother who eats enough “bread, butter, shelly(ie: jelly)” sandwiches to put us out of house and home.

He’s the baby I stayed awake and listened to cry all night, every night as my mom tried to soothe him after he came home from the hospital.

He’s the kid I honed all my mad babysitting skills on when I was 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and now 18.

I believe William’s going to grow up and conquer the world in whatever way he decides he wants to.

And I think the more people aware that autism isn’t synonymous to ‘stupid’ the better off the world will be.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. I know you’ve guys have probably seen a lot of posts like this so I’ll try to keep it short.
Autism is not a disease and it certainly is not characterized by stupidity. Autism is a different way of looking at things.
Nobody “looks” autistic because nobody is just autistic.
So as my little brother says “Don’t judge just be fudge”.

Morning Tumblr! Today we’re celebrating World autism awareness day with our Monday morning post. In the last two decades there has been a steady increase in the prevalence of autism globally. Some people talk of it as an epidemic, with statistics estimating as many as one in 100 people are affected. We have a series of photographs are of students at the MacIntyre residential school in Wingrave, Buckinghamshire, for young people with severe learning disabilities, including autism. Reblog to make more people aware of autism. 

World Autism Day

image

Tomorrow APRIL 2ND is World Autism Day! It’s an internationally designated day to foster awareness about and support for autism and those living on the spectrum.

Autism now affects 1 in 68 children!!! With a 5 to 1 prevalence in males. It is also referred to as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder because of the broad range of ways it can affect a person.

Autism’s “color” is blue and many people will be wearing blue tomorrow to show support as started by Autism Speaks’ campaign “Light it up Blue.”

Autism Speaks has done amazing work raising money for research and support of autism. However, they also often get a [deserved] negative reputation in the ASD community because of their goals of searching for a “cure” for autism. Autism is not a disease or an illness, and many people with autism find offense at the idea that anyone would want to cure them. Here is an interesting article written by somebody on the spectrum regarding some of these topics.

Let’s celebrate Neurodiversity!!

Also if any one has any questions or would like to be pointed in the direction of educational materials or resources regarding autism, please ask!

So tomorrow (maybe it’s april 2nd where you live already) is a very important day for me,

if i see any comments on my dash that are in any way belittling people with autism you will be unfollowed and blocked, just so you know.

Read More

When I Found Out My Son Had Autism or What Grieving Feels Like

No. No, no, no, no.
My whole world was No for weeks.
No clouded everything. It fell from the sky
like pinheads hitting windshields, it was
a muddy mess of No & I jumped in
every goddamn puddle.
Heavy Boots. Pocket Rocks. Quicksand.
Hefty heart. Two hands squeezing,
fingers between artery & vein.
Tarantula Grip. Snakebite. Indian Burn.

A car alarm in an empty field.
A car alarm in an empty field,

shocking the birds into their nests
to weave a blanket from the feathers
they plucked one by one from their skin

when my heart opens up into a barn
& you are sitting there cross-legged
in the center trying to pluck
words from the air like fireflies.

I am 13 years old trying to pluck
the anxiety out of my over-active
sweat glands, but all of it just gets
stuck in there—

your words, they tremble off your
tongue, they come out buzzing like
street lamp glow lighting the path
to the only window left unlocked
in my heart—

you slam your hands
against the pane of glass
before you climb up on its sill.

You play with the locks,
left-right, left-right, left-right,
you jump down into the gaping hole
spinning, waving your hands like magic wands,
squealing with joy, looking with love,

you loosen the grip,

you drown out the car alarm.

Some people say
that you never really get over the grief,
it’s always there,
pops up like a tornado,
rips open the healing wound
in an instant.

Long Winter. Snow Shovel.
Spring Night. Flowering Field.
Swampland. Drought.
Avalanche. Bulldozers.
Wrecking Ball. Rebuild.
Earthquake. Rebuild.
Hurricane. Rebuild.
Rain. Thunder. Sun. Rainbow.
Rain. Thunder. Sun. Rainbow.
Rain. Thunder. Sun. Son.

My Son.

My heart is a window flung open
& this is what it looks like inside.

— 

Amanda Oaks

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, please educate yourself. <3

My little cousin Jack is the cleverest kid I know. He’s in his last year of first school here in England but he has the general knowledge of a professional quizzer. He can name and identify every flag of the world and knows his rules of football better than any manager. He may not think in the most seemingly logical of ways but he always gets to the right answer eventually. His curiosity and hunger for new information is incredible for a kid his age.
He’s also autistic, always has been and always will be. He’s on the more severe side, with very poor communication and social skills. I get so worried about his future relationships with people as he progresses into middle and eventually high school as I’ve seen the atrocious ways bullies can act towards people with autism first hand.
Having days like this is important to spread information and dispel misconceptions about autistic people, for without proper education people will remain ignorant and misconceive what it means to be autistic. Historically, a lack of understanding about certain human traits has always lead to violence and hatred, which is certainly not something I want to affect my family.
I hope and pray that that in the future the harassment and bullying of autistic people will stop as acceptance of autism increases, for Jack’s sake and for any other children like him.

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