Autism 101 is a series to dispel misconceptions about Asperger’s and Autism in general. I write this post with the help of my 7 year old son, Brady. I could not express these opinions without his input or approval. This is a record of our experience. I am not an expert. I am just a parent telling my story.
This is how it feels for me to go to a new place. This is not exact because I can’t show you what is in my head. This is just a sketch to give you an idea. I think in parts and build my pictures piece by piece before I can see the whole.
I don’t see The Big Picture in a new place. I see parts. I have to see all the parts and put them together before I understand. If it is too much then I close down and don’t take it in. This is normal. If you see too much light, don’t you turn your face? It is the exact same thing. I take many small parts and put them together to form the whole. This can take a long time. It can take months.
I can’t turn my way on and off. This is how it is for me all the time. In a group setting or a new place, this is a big challenge. I only see parts of the room. Like a shoe, or a book, and so on the room reveals itself as I process each piece. I try to keep most of my day the same and only build in a few new experiences. That way I don’t use up all my energy.
At school the kids talk to me and I don’t answer all the time. I don’t answer if there is too much going on. That is another story for another time.
The more things to identify, the harder I have to work. I like uncluttered spaces. I like clean shapes. I like order. If you take order away from me, I get lost. I think most kids learn best when it is peaceful. It is not just me.
It can take me the whole school year to learn my classroom. In kindergarten, I learned the desks and chairs well before I learned my classmates. My mom thought it was strange that I knew the teams, the structure and the elements of the room and not the kids. I thought it was strange that she knew so much about the people in my room but so little about what walls and how the room was arranged.
I hope this page helped you understand what it feels like to wear my brain for a time. Thank you for visiting. I like to see my visitors from all over the world.