Amazing Autism!!

I’ve always believed that autistic people are not stupid or unaware, just wired in a way that makes their perception of the world ‘different’.  I’m reading a few books about autism at the moment as research for my own book and I’m currently reading Carly’s Voice.  Carly is severely autistic but was very lucky to have parents who were prepared to put all of their resources into trying every therapy available in order to help her break out of her silent world and communicate.

Carly is non-verbal and is Canadian.  After years of intense therapy and a huge amount of financial input Carly was able, eventually, to communicate using a computer and typing with one finger.  What emerged was a mind that had been very aware of everything that was going on around her despite it appearing that she was totally unaware of everything.

In fact, Carly is an immensely intelligent young lady who has a brain that works like a photocopier and also retains every piece of information she has access to.  Part of her problem with communication is that there is so much information going into her brain that she cannot process it all and therefore she rocks, hums and becomes destructive.

Her story confirms everything I have always believed to be true of my own autistic children.  I have watched them like a Hawk over the years and observed that they often ‘meltdown’ when they are surrounded by too much stimulation.  Pippa often becomes extremely hyperactive when the house is filled with people she doesn’t know very well.  Nikita will shut down completely or become agitated to the extent that she screams and lashes out.  The others all have their own way of displaying their response to over stimulation.

They have brains like Carly’s that act like photocopiers.  I remember a few years ago on a long journey that Nikita and Lorie were sitting in the back of the car and Lorie suggested they watch a film together to relieve the boredom.  I knew they had no laptop or similar on which to watch it and observed, fascinated as they watched a film in their heads together laughing at exactly the same place and, when questioning each other, confirmed that they were laughing at exactly the same part of the script.  They sat happily for well over an hour ‘watching’ the film word for word, action by action in their heads totally in sync with each other.  I was astonished at their photographic memories that allowed them to do this.

Autistic people have an enormous amount to offer society, I believe that even the most extremely autistic people have brains that are working on a far superior level to us neurotypicals, we just need to find a way to enable them to ‘find their voice’ and let us into their minds.  I pray that one day very soon we will find a way to enter their minds and free all of them to be the amazing people they really are. 

I believe that the vacant expression we so often observe is not from a lack of understanding but from their brains being so overloaded with information that they working overtime trying to process it all.  I can’t wait for the breakthrough that let’s us into their minds!!

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