My 20 Faces Of Autism

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 2013/03/29 by:

Karen Wang

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"