Understanding Autism During Confusing Times

With everything going on around the world right now, it is more important than ever to acknowledge Autism Awareness Month. Every April is a time for us to appreciate someone we know who has been diagnosed with Autism. Autism comes in countless shapes and sizes as symptoms look different for everyone. No matter the symptoms, every individual with Autism works hard to understand and perform daily tasks. The puzzle pieces of life are scattered even further than usual during the COVID-19 outbreak. It takes endless support to bring these pieces back together. 

stack of jigsaw puzzle pieces

As the sister of someone with Autism, I have seen first-hand how hard adjusting to new rules and routines are. Going from being active in school, playing outside, and going shopping to being limited to the driveway is a new lifestyle that can be extremely difficult to explain to someone who struggles with day-to-day activities as it is. My brother Christian asks countless questions to my family about when school will restart, and what exactly is wrong. What makes it even more difficult is that we do not even have the answers to give sometimes. The world is in a slump and the Autism community is not left out. They are just as aware as we are. It is so easy to get caught up in the obvious stressors such as work and school without even realizing the emotional stress on those who cannot communicate it to us. During a time where we need each other the most, we cannot forget to check in on individuals who may not be able to verbalize their distress or sadness. 

neon sign saying think about things differently

The most important things to remember here are acceptance and patience. If you or someone you know is a part of the Autism community in any way, send love as this is the time to embrace their curious minds. I know my brother, just like everyone else, misses their life of seeing friends every day and being active in the community. We have been working hard at home to keep Christian on a schedule that holds him accountable for chores, schoolwork, and socializing. It is just as important as usual to keep those who have Autism involved and engaged and not pushed to the side. Even though April only lasts 30 days, Autism acceptance stretches on forever.

 

HCXO, Taylor