Subscribe now and recieve 50% off all our ebooks as well as updates on all our online special needs resources.
Karen Wang
BY Karen Wang
2,884 views

My 20 Faces Of Autism

April 2, 2013 is the sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day. To be aware of autism, you have to know what it looks like first.

Here’s a hint: it’s a spectrum made of people.

Here are my 20 faces of autism

1. Autism looks like the child who is really excited that the President of the United States wrote back to him.

The Many Faces of Autism (5)

2. Autism looks like the person who still isn’t able to write with a pencil even after years of therapy.

3. Autism looks like outdoor lessons on constellations, lunar rainbows and the Milky Way late on a cold, sleepless night.

4. Autism looks like a person snuggled between giant pillows under a weighted blanket.

5. Autism looks like the person who wears a shirt and tie while pitching a tent on a camping trip.

The Many Faces of Autism

6. Autism looks like the person who wears comfy black yoga pants and a silk scarf to formal events.

7. Autism looks like a kid in pajamas who builds a Lego castle with his brother on the living room floor. 

The Many Faces of Autism

8. Autism looks like a person who wants to be near other people, but not interact with them.

9. Autism looks like the woman who gushes that her work as a 911 dispatcher is “the perfect career.”

10. Autism looks like the young man who can’t even get a part-time minimum wage job.

11. Autism looks like the child whose first words at age 11 were spoken to a horse.

The Many Faces of Autism

12. Autism looks like the person who feeds and pets his guinea pigs every day, and keeps their habitat clean.

The Many Faces of Autism

13. Autism looks like the person who collects vacuum cleaners and can tell you all the details about every single one.

14. Autism looks like the person who absolutely hates vacuum cleaners, and covers his ears and screams whenever one is switched on.

15. Autism looks like the person who is easily overstimulated and goes into a 2 hour meltdown.

The Many Faces of Autism

16. Autism looks like the person who loves to ride roller coasters all day long in a noisy amusement park.

The Many Faces of Autism

17. Autism looks like the person who is totally thrilled to ride the elevator at the mall.

18. Autism looks like the person who panics in public or claustrophobic situations.

19. Autism looks like the person who believes in science and rejects all forms of religion.

20. Autism looks like the child who never misses a day of prayers.

What does autism look like to you?

Karen Wang

Written on March 29, 2013 by:

Karen Wang is a Friendship Circle parent. You may have seen her sneaking into the volunteer lounge for ice cream or being pushed into the cheese pit by laughing children. She is a contributing author to the anthology "My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities"
  • Ewa Omahen

    Autism looks like all of the things you had listed and so much more! Autism is overwhelming, demanding, exhausting, frightening….autism is hope, perseverance, courage, wisdom….autism is my child looking at me with unconditional love, giving me wings to fly, expanding my horizons, and making me believe in the “impossible”!
    Let us celebrate our beautiful children and the gifts they bring on Autism Awareness Day and every day!
    Ewa Omahen

  • bobama

    so everyone is autistic?

  • Lots of references to sensory overload in there. I write Sensory Stories which can help people with sensory processing issues. I hope to have some really exciting news in the next couple of weeks, regarding sensory stories. (I’ll be tweeting it, if you’re about in the twittersphere). Autism also looks like my student who would only eat a particular shade of beige and whose slender marble coloured fingers could sift through the crumbs of a cake with an elegance I’ve yet to see repeated in life.

  • Audrey Humaciu

    ROFL – my son (on the spectrum) LOVES to ride elevators!

  • Katy Santana

    Autism is a child that refuses to eat absolutely anything with seeds in it. Refuses to wear jeans or any shirt with buttons or collars. Autism is challenging! I have 2 boys with Autism. I cannot imagine what life would be like without them! I am happy for their Autism! I am happy that they are unique! I am happy they are mine!

  • Shelly

    Autism looks like my 21 year old son “running” down the grocery store aisle making “wooshing” sound effects.

Categories