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This Is Our Autism

By Jessica Watson, contributor to The Huffington Post and author of the blog, Four Plus an Angel

Since the beginning of my life as an autism mom, I have been surrounded by versions of what people think autism is. Well-meaning onlookers have mentioned that my daughter doesn't count 5,000 items in 30 seconds like Rain Man, or memorize the name of every U.S. president like that one other person with autism they know. In the early days of her diagnosis, some questioned it so much that I questioned it myself, even though we were given the label by a nationally known autism expert who just happened to be a short car ride away.

But here is the thing: Our autism is not their autism, and it's not your autism either. There is a saying out there that autism parents like to use because it is so very true:

If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.

In an effort to help other autism parents feel more comfortable embracing how their children's autism is very similar and very different from others', I wanted to share "our autism" with you and encourage other families to do the same. I hope opening up the conversation about what it's really like helps others to stop judging from the outside looking in.

To continue reading the full story and get a complete look at their family's life with autism, visit The Huffington Post: Parents website:

This piece is part of a series of essays on what autism looks like for different families. It was originally published at Four Plus an Angel.

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