Autism explained


For those living or working with autistic people, autistic behavior can be quite puzzling and baffling. People with autism can do or say things that are out of the box of the common interpretations of human behavior.  Or their behavior can be quite challenging for the people around them. Care takers, teachers, parents, therapists  can scratch their head when confronted with situations where people with autism refuse to do things that are  within their abilities, show a lack of cooperation, behave in socially or otherwise inappropriate ways, say things  that don’t seem to make sense, adhere to certain routines, objects or details that are seen as less relevant…  The only way to escape the perplexity caused by autism is to try to understand where the typical and sometimes  challenging behaviors of people with autism come from. And, as for any other human being, the answer lies in  the way a person with autism experiences the world. Being empathetic towards people with autism means nothing  more or less than trying to see the world through their eyes, listening with their ears, feeling with their heart…  Because that’s where autism’s core is: the different way of seeing, experiencing, understanding, in short:  processing information. Autism is all about brains processing information in a different way, and these differences  are invisible. What we see, the behavior of people with autism, is not autism, but the consequence of autism.  Or, using a metaphor that was introduced by the people from TEACCH (North Carolina) long time ago: we only see  the tip of the iceberg. Anyone wanting to be autism friendly needs to dive into the autistic cognition and  try to see what’s underwater.
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