In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s.
The world recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.
Here we share an enlightening poem by Valerie Foley and how she experiences the world.
IMAGINE if…You had a bee buzzing around your head
And someone asked you to say the alphabet backwards
IMAGINE if…You were in the middle of a really loud rock concert
And someone wanted you to name all your aunts and uncles
IMAGINE if…You were wearing three pairs of gloves
And someone told you to eat a box of raisins one by one
This is what things are like for me, a lot of the time.
Your brain is like the inside of a computer, full of connections and wires
With messages to your body whizzing around telling you what to do
My brain looks the same as yours, except some connections work really well, and some work really differently.
And my brain wires can get crossed really easily.
So, if I’m doing something a bit funny looking… try not to laugh at me. It’s just one of my brain connections clearing itself out.
And if I tell you something over and over… just ask me to stop repeating. It’s just one of my wires plugged into the wrong socket.
And, if I freak out at some sound that you think is really normal… maybe help me get away from the sound. It’s just because my ears have their own unique volume control.
And, if you think I’m ignoring you… I’m not. I’m probably just focused on something else, like a tiny spider on the ceiling on the other side of the room.
Autism is a different way of seeing the world. And seeing things the way I see them is awesome, but it makes me really tired sometimes.
So, I might not always understand what’s going on.
And, I might need time to myself to think things through. Or, I might crash or jump or swing for a while to straighten myself out. Don’t worry if I don’t always do things the way you do.
Try to imagine what it’s like inside my head, then you’ll see…
I’m not being rude.
I’m not being naughty
And I’m just being me.
For more information on Autism visit: http://www.aut2know.co.za/understand-autism.php and for useful links to international organisations, interventions, books and videos visit: http://www.aut2know.co.za/useful-links.php