I was just thinking about autism in general and how we call it a spectrum. A range of traits that differ in severity. We picture the ‘severely autistic’ person who cannot communicate in the way the majority do. They cannot talk and are trapped behind sensory processing and brain processing impairments. There is a soul in the body, having an experience on Earth, but that soul is helpless to communicate what it is thinking inside. The person is hidden within.
Also on the spectrum, is a high functioning autistic human being. They can function in a world that is set up for neuro typical humans, but they have inner worlds that are rarely seen by those neuro typical people because again, the communication wires are not on the same frequency, so a lot goes un noticed or undervalued or unacepted. Lost in translation.
There is a wonderful writer whose blog I have followed since I discovered the world of autism and blogging. I invite you to have a read through her work. (link below) Not only is she super clever and works magic with her words, she also has a beautiful soul that shines through her stories. Her work really touches my heart and her explanations and insight into an autistic mind have helped me better understand myself and my daughter. When you read her many, many posts and see how much she gets out with her writing, you cannot help but feel in awe. And yet I know that in a neuro typical world, she has felt lost, trapped and with her late discovery of her own Asperger’s diagnosis, has lead a difficult childhood. I wonder what it would be like to meet this brilliant person. I imagine that I would feel inferior to her intelligence and her authenticity. She would hate that, I know for she is a loyal reader of my humble ramblings and a true sweetheart. I wonder though if she would have trouble communicating in the way I know, in real life, face to face. Yet I feel as though I know her when she writes with such raw beauty and honesty. The medium of writing can cross over the barriers that come with autism, as can acting or music or poetry. A window into the secret world of autism.
This has all lead to me thinking about PDA and how the inability to cross the barriers of yes and no is actually an entrapment too. An autistic entrapment of mind. I see a talented, beautiful soul in my daughter, but she is trapped in there and very few people in her life are helping her to find a way out. They do not look for the communication she uses to express who she is. They do not see what I see. They see a girl who is not motivated, who is difficult and stubborn or not bothered. They sometimes see a girl who is rude or lazy. Or they see the person she becomes to fit in. But I see a girl who is trapped within her own demons and fears. Who hides where it feels safe, in parts of her own mind, away from the parts of her mind that generate so much anxiety and uncertainty. But by doing this, she is denying so much of who she is and what she has to offer. She is not able to feel whole.
The only way I can see into this hidden world is to make it safe to come out. To make the reflection in the mirror she looks into a worthwhile place to be. I repeat a pattern of self loathing and I often shine that to my girl, without realizing that I too feel trapped inside myself. Today I realized something important. That it takes everyone to find the ones who are hidden and putting up mirrors and putting up barricades. We need to look deeper into what holds us back and then find ways to express what we want the world to know about ourselves. This is what I am trying to teach and this is what she is teaching me.
I know what I don’t want for myself or my daughter, and that’s to have wasted the brilliance. So, I guess I’m putting it out there to teachers, and society, don’t over look the person that hides away, or cannot look into your eyes because it hurts so much. Don’t over look the person who cannot speak what they are feeling or explain how lost they are. Don’t overlook the child who says no all of the time, they don’t want to say no. They are trapped in themselves. They are frightened. But when they are seen, and communication, in different forms can be reached, you will see just how amazing these people are and you will have helped them through their entrapment.
Here is a link to The Silent Wave’s post that touched me to write this post today. I would like to say a big thank you to you for being bloody awesome in every way. x
Thanks for reading. x