Autism is . . . Strong

Today’s guest post in the “Autism is . . . ” series is by Jenny Herman. I had the privilege of meeting her at the 2:1 Conference last year, but I have “known” her for a while online. She is the mother of a son with autism and blogs at ManyHatsMommy.com.

Autism is . . . Strong - jenniferajanes.com

Autism is . . . Strong by Jenny Herman

My seven-year-old son has Asperger’s syndrome. It’s part of the autism spectrum. Can I tell you something I’ve learned about autism?

Autism is strong.

My son is actually quite strong physically. I know other moms that have said their children on the spectrum are really strong as well. I don’t know if that’s true across the board or if it’s a side effect from all the activity my son requires to meet sensory needs, but regardless, he’s very strong. But, he’s strong in other ways.

Think about something you’re really afraid of—spiders, heights, snakes, public speaking, etc. Have it in your mind? Imagine facing that fear often. Maybe Every. Single. Day. Maybe multiple times a day. Kids with autism do this all the time. One child I know is afraid of going outside. Others may be afraid of the way water feels on their skin. My son is afraid of getting haircuts. I finally figured out to ask him one day what he could compare it to so I could understand his fear. He told me getting his hair cut is as scary as having blood drawn or a shark biting off his leg. That’s pretty scary. Yet he bravely endures haircuts.

Autism is strong.

Consider going to a place where the lights are too bright and you can’t turn them down. The sounds are too loud, and you can’t mute them. Someone bumps into you and it feels like they’ve rammed into you with all their might. Would you leave, or would you stay? I think most of us would leave. Many people with autism deal with sensory issues all the time, and yet they still work their way through these situations.

Autism is strong.

What would it be like if you wanted to be friends with someone, but you didn’t know how to tell them? You run over and put your face in theirs to show your excitement to make a friend, and they back away. Or perhaps someone reaches to give you a hug and you shy away, hurting their feelings. You watch other people enjoying a game that makes you cringe or you don’t understand the rules. How would you feel? Lonely? Left out? Confused? Our autism friends face these situations often and keep trying.

Autism is strong.

There are many other scenarios I could describe, but I think you get the picture. If you take a moment to think about all the things people with autism face daily and how they keep going, you, too, will realize…

Autism is strong.

Jenny enjoys interacting with homeschoolers as the Social Media Manager for Home Educating Family. She is also excited to bring special needs homeschooling to a mainstream magazine. She and her husband Greg are learning to view life through the eyes of their sons—one with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and one with a propensity for pretending. You’ll find lots of interesting stories about finding grace in autism over at her blog, ManyHatsMommy.com.

Photo credit: Jenny Herman

For more information and giveaways of great products for Autism Awareness Month, please visit the landing page by clicking the graphic below:

Autism Awareness Month: April 2013 - jenniferajanes.comPlease join the other bloggers of iHomeschool Network for a 10-day Hopscotch! The topics vary, but they’re sure to be good! Click the graphic below to hop on over:

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12 Responses to Autism is . . . Strong

  1. Wow, you’ve just described my daughter in many ways. She is afraid of the wind in the trees. When she gets bumped lightly she still cries like she’s been terribly hurt. The sun is often too bright and she will ask to go back inside, and more. We do not have an official diagnosis, still seeking and learning. Thank you for this perspective!

    • Jenny says:

      Wendy, some of those things are my son, were my son, or are other children I know. He has made great progress in the sensory area. She will, too. You are a great mom!

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  6. Katrina Snider says:

    As a Special Educator of children with Autism and PDD, I have to say, April is a special month for me. I try my best to educate those around me about Autism and how it relates to education, social skills, feelings, and just simple things in life. Thank you so much for your time and effort because I have referenced your site, given your site to other educators as a tip to educate them and to parents for emotional support to let them know there are others out there with the same struggles and hurdles.
    Again, thanks for all you do and continue to do for these most precious precious individuals!!!!!!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Katrina! I appreciate your support and encouragement and the referrals to others. I’m glad that you see the information presented here and in some of the other sites linked to from the Autism Awareness Month posts as valuable resources for autism awareness and education.

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