Updated: Apr 15, 2021
"The Heart and soul of an Autistic is precious and sacred! Handle with care!"
Image Credit: Shutterstock Image of barefoot young lady in blue jeans, button shirt, and long loose brown hair sitting in a window while looking at the window thoughtfully.
I sit quietly, prayerfully feeling the stillness within my heart space. This space feels free, expansive, and filled with love and joy. The energy there I feel and see as subtle color. Like lightly colored pastel chalk children use to draw their precious art and creations on the sidewalk.
I spend time pondering the Autistic's Journey and what that means... So much negativity spoken and written about Autism and those who have that label. I am one of those individuals who is labeled as Autistic. My self esteem from negativity I experience has spiraled downward over the last several years. I ask myself, what is an Autistic? Is it all the negativity I hear and read or is it something else? My response to this question is:
1. WE ARE TEACHERS:
We are teachers that help others question how life is currently lived.
To help others question choice and opportunity.
To help others realize life is far more complex than how the majority choose to currently live and experience life.
2. WE ARE INDEPENDENT:
It is frustrating to be such independent people in a world so restrictive on how life is lived by the majority.
Most of us would choose to live quite differently than we are being ask, taught, and expected to live.
We desire to be independent but like many other people, we do need help and tools to aid us in doing that.
3. WE ARE CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS:
When there is a struggle or a need we can find ways to meet those needs quite creatively.
4. WE ARE CARING:
Our Souls care deeply about the souls of another.
We feel your pain and heartache. We hurt when we see others suffer.
We would take those burdens from you and carry them for you if we could.
5. WE ARE UNIQUELY EXPRESSIVE:
We struggle to communicate as the majority do. It's hard to express in the typical manner.
Many of us find it much better and easier to express our feelings and ideas in alternative methods such as writing, visually through the arts, musically, and many of us speak alternatively through AAC, Sign language, or some form of text or writing.
6. WE CARE ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS:
We do care about relationships, friendships, community, and the environment among other things.
We can be deeply spiritual and very connected.
We have a different way we might choose to be in relationships. We struggle to understand how. The way we show, share, express caring may be different than what everyone else seems to do. We may keep people at a distance and limit how long and how close we will connect with another person or group.
We often need and ask for patience, understanding, and support in these areas.
We tend to hate the small talk and would rather sit with a group focused on a project.
But we need and want some social time and connection. It's hard to always be the one on the outside.
Image Credit: Wix image of a young woman hiking alone in the mountains. She has hiking boots, blue jeans, black sweater, blue backpack, and blonde hair in a ponytail. The woods are dark and fill with skinny pine trees. The forest floor is covered with ferns. She is walking along a deer trail. The hill she is climbing looks steep.
Remind yourself of the times when you didn't feel like communicating with others. What clothing do you love to wear and what do you avoid? Do you like being in a noisy, crowded place or do you also prefer the quiet spaces? Do bright lights ever bother you? How do you solve it? What if you had no speaking voice? How would you communicate your needs? What would you do if eye contact caused you physical pain and discomfort but you lived in a community that didn't understand that? What if physical touch and close proximity to another human was nearly impossible for you and created loss of energy every time you are around another human?
Image yourself in those situations to help you better understand an Autistic person. What if you wanted connection and friendship but simply can't understand how? What changes would you make to be able to enjoy living and thriving?
If you know someone who is Autistic, how can you be a positive part of their life rather than a negative experience for them? Can you adjust to their world for a bit rather than asking the Autistic to adjust to yours? Can you allow them to rest and be themselves with you?
The heart and soul of an Autistic is precious and sacred! Please treat those you know with Autism with love and care.
Here is my image design representing The Autistic Heart and Soul. The medium used is Pastel chalk and a graphite pencil. The paper is regular sketch paper. The image reflects the Autism Soul as caring, multidimensional, and expansive. This image can be licensed for use on my website.
ARTIST CREDIT: Bobbi Gibson. I drew this image "The Autistic Heart" to represent the multidimensional heart and soul of a very caring and compassionate Autistic such as myself.
If you enjoyed this article, you may wish to read my other articles related to Autism. You may use this link to find articles specific to Autism such as, "I'm Struggling", "Marketing Yourself When You Have Autism", "Overcome, Adapt, Accept, Make Change", "Journaling: My Voice! My Friend!","Closing The Door to Verbal Speech","Letting Go to Add More".
Thank you for reading my article.