Trying to advocate for my son while attempting to raise autism awareness can be a tricky business, because my personal experience with autism is limited to one person...Mareto. Yes, I know other children with autism (which wasn't the case a few years ago), but I don't know them or have experience with them in the same way I do with my son. So, when I share about autism and parenting a child with autism, it is from my perspective as Mareto's mommy. And sharing can be frustrating, because often, I get responses like the comments above.
What do you say to someone who doesn't think your child looks autistic? Does autism have a look? Yes, I suppose it does. It looks like beautiful brown eyes that sparkle in the light. It looks like a wide smile and a face that lights up with joy over the sight of a train. It also can look frightened or confused and bothered by loud noises. Autism can look like blue eyes or green eyes, blonde hair or black hair or brown hair or red hair. Autism can look like eyes that never quite meet your gaze, or eyes that have learned to make contact except when overwhelmed or frightened. Autism can look like diapers at 5 or potty trained by 3. Autism can look like flapping and spinning or sitting quietly with an iPad. Have you caught on yet? There is no one look to autism.