There's a common, and prevailing idea that Autistic people hate touch. Now.. /some/ do. I can and do get 'touched out'. However, there are plenty of Autistic people who love touch, heavy pressure and need it to thrive - my son is one of those people!
He LOVES touch - hugs, cuddles, roughhousing, tickling (he comes to specifically ask for it), piles of blankets, stuffies, etc. And, most of the kids who I know who have similar traits to him - nonspeaking, etc, they actually happen to be high touch kids as well.
Now, I'm not saying every nonspeaker is that way, I'm just saying the ones I know the best ARE that way, they're very physically affectionate, and love to cuddle and press on people.
I've had people ask me 'Can I talk to him, look at him, etc' and I'm like.. um.. yes? And, I get they're trying in their uneducated way to be supportive, but it always comes across as if they're scared of him, and he's this fragile creature who could break at any moment.
Unfortunately, there has been many times where it felt like people were.. well.. afraid to interact with him. And, not because of anything he did, but because they knew he was Autistic. And, it really struck me to the core how damaging the stereotypes are.
Thankfully, the people that know us/him are great with him. He goes up and holds my friend's hands, and if people are sitting down, he gets up and puts his legs on them, and stuff like that. I'm thankful that we happen to have a very supportive community.
Asking 'Is there anything you/he needs?' is absolutely okay, but make sure your questions are open ended, and not based on stereotypes. Autistic people have a range of needs and desires. Autism by nature, has a spiky profile.
Some Autistic people are major sensory avoiders, but some are major sensory seekers. I would say most are a bit of both! O loves lots of sounds, music, he can watch multiple videos at once, he vocalizes (his singing), HOWEVER, he hates diesel engines and rooms that echo.
I, on the other hand, HATE overlapping noises. They are one of my main overload triggers. Lots of headphone and ear plug time for me, because the rest of my family loves their multiple inputs.
However, my sensory seeking is stuff like wearing a lot of layers, blankets, cats. I love feeling super cozy. I hate summer, because I miss the layers that make me feel safe and secure. I've always been the type who gets emotionally attached to blankets.
Anyway, I digress. Short version: Not all Autistic people are the same. Like all humans, we have beautiful diversity within our people, and you should ask with an open mind and heart, and not out of fear of stereotypes.

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More from @awesomebrandi

11 Oct
Back when O was a toddler/preschooler, we would make the assumption he just 'didn't care' about various holiday stuff, because he didn't show it on the outside. But, you know what? We were WRONG. We were ignorant to the fact that how he FEELS won't always show up on the outside.
Eventually, we would find some things he would get really outwardly excited over, and we were like, yay, we made him happy! But, we didn't realize he WAS excited, and he looks forward to holidays and gifts, and candy just like many children do. That was OUR ignorance.
Once he learned to type, we got the reality check that he does look forward to pretty much everything. He loves Easter, and visiting his grandparents. So much so, that he gets overwhelmed by the intensity of his happy feelings. Many people don't understand this.
Read 7 tweets
11 Oct
Did you know that people were 'cr*wd funding' even hundreds of years? People would take out spots in the newspaper and ask for money for widows, or other people in need. Cr*wd funding is NOT new, we simply have new platforms to do it on.
Yeah, it's pretty fucked up that people NEED to rely on the goodness of neighbors to scrape by. I wish we had a government/society that gave people the support they need, and everybody HAD their needs met, and nobody was forced to ask for help.
I remember when we moved into govt housing when I was a tween/young teen. We had nothing, literally nothing, outside of maybe a single box of personal items each. All of our furniture was donated to us. We had tgiving dinner around a coffee table with donated food.
Read 7 tweets
9 Oct
Learning how to be open and heal from my trauma has been a difficult, but incredibly rewarding process. It's going to be an ongoing thing, probably my entire life, but I feel like I have gained so much just in the last five years or so.
Mentally, I feel like I am the healthiest I've ever been, and I know myself better than I ever did in the past. Part of it is age, no doubt, but part is just embracing my neurodiversity, and realizing I am NOT broken.
Being open and sharing my journey has brought me so many wonderful connections with people, that I never dreamed I would have.
Read 6 tweets
4 Oct
Z and I were both tired and on edge tonight. There was some definite tension going on, that was building as Z got ready to go to bed. Then, I decided to change my attitude, and I put my energy into being silly instead of angry.
I became over the top silly, and she couldn’t help but start laughing and being silly in return. We ended up ending the night in a positive manner that lifted both of our spirits. You would be surprised at the relief YOU get as a parent, when you put anger away.
Now, I promise you this: I do not always make the right choice. I don’t always win against my own challenges, and I make mistakes in how I handle things. But, this is an important reminder…
Read 6 tweets
1 Oct
Even at my MOST FIT, I was still disabled. I just didn't know it, and instead I constantly overdid it, causing myself MORE pain, and dismissing my own valid disability issues. Instead of seeking help for the pain I was experiencing, I told myself I just needed to be tougher.
I would look at other people who could run daily, or do tough, hour long workouts daily. I never could do that. No matter how 'fit' I was, I would still experience pain and fatigue. Basically, my body would force me into recovery days, and I would feel awful.
And, of course, in the times I DID try bringing it up, doctors would tell me nothing was wrong. When I was pregnant with O, I started having these issues with my left middle toe. I STILL HAVE THEM! Almost 9 years later!
Read 8 tweets
19 Sep
So, what IF someone who self-diagnosed as Autistic was wrong? What exactly is going to happen? It's not like 'officially' diagnosed Autistic people are being showered with endless support and acceptance, so what exactly is a self-diagnosed person harming? NOTHING.
People who realize they are Autistic do it because they've been searching for something. They've been trying to understand themselves, why they see the world the way they do and looking for community. Why is that a bad thing? Why is someone feeling at home in their skin, bad?
It's NOT bad, but what people don't like is that self-diagnosis puts the power in the hands of the people, instead of the elite few. People don't WANT disabled people to have their own power. People want to continue to control and deny disabled people.
Read 9 tweets

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