We have been blessed with two daughters on the autistic spectrum who have pretty opposite struggles when it comes to socialization.
For many years before Sno was diagnosed I was told she was “just shy” or “very serious.” She would often struggle in large groups, noisy crowds would scare her, and she has always taken a while to warm to new people. She’s definitely regarded as an introvert and isn’t really affectionate at all.. but when she is, oh – it’s heart-meltingly gorgeous. Sno has always struggled with friendships, and I remember her at the age of 4, two years before she was diagnosed, coming home from kindergarten confused about why one of her peers wanted to hold her hand during a song they were singing. When I asked why she didn’t want to, she simply told me, “Well because I don’t know her. And if I don’t know her well, I don’t want her touching me.” Fair enough, kid, I thought back then.
Her sister Wilding on the other hand is a completely different kettle of fish. I was told before she was diagnosed with ASD that she couldn’t be autistic because she was “too social” to have autism. She loves people, and would regularly run up to strangers at the library and ask them to read her stories. She is super affectionate and adores cuddling. She makes friends easily and is loved and cherished by many simply for her embracing, warm character.
Two girls so opposite in personalities and yet they both are autistic. How is this possible? I’ll tell you how.
Being an introvert or an extrovert has nothing to do with being autistic.