We continue to roll through my Autism Awareness Month Facebook posts.
I hear the top half of this a lot. It’s the kindest, most precious sentiment and I 100% appreciate the sweetness of this compliment. BUT, the bottom half is the truth y’all! The complete and total truth!
Today’s topic is fear. When you live in a world that you don’t understand and that you are hyper-sensitive to……it can intensify any fears you have to a quite an unbearable place. One of Cannon’s greatest fears is water on the ground. It all started a few years ago when we had some snow flurries. We walked out of the chiropractor’s office and I was so excited to see them falling from the sky. I thought Cannon would LOVE it! BUT, he took one look at them and jumped into my arms….clinging so hard that his nails dug into my neck. He was screaming like he was in agony, hyperventilating, and begging me to get him in the car. This fear has expanded to include black top pavement, glossy floors, and grass. Most of which usually aren’t wet but he is convinced that they are. When this fear kicks in, there is no telling him that he will be okay, it isn’t wet, or that you will help him. If he isn’t picked up and removed…..things can get ugly FAST. Lots of time has been, is, and will continue to be spent on combating this fear for our sweet guy. We have discovered a crazy thing about this fear, though. If he is barefoot…..he is FINE. Closed toed shoes……100% NOT FINE. No rhyme or reason. That’s Autism! My best advice to anyone who encounters a person with Autism who is facing an intense fear is to love them. Encourage them and just be there. Help them out of the situation and leave it to the professionals to teach them how to get through it. If you try, you may fail and a full blown, angry, violent meltdown can ensue. Love, comfort, and support will always be the best policy. This goes for the parents you may witness dealing with this in public as well. Err on the side of compassion….instead of glares, stares, and unsolicited advice. And please, please, PLEASE understand how real this is for them. It is not brattiness or disobedience. They are warriors….getting up each day and fighting battles we can’t comprehend with perseverance! Love friends…..just love!
And finally….one of my favorite visual aides ever to explain Autism. Read, learn, and process the difference…I beg you!