World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.

Did you know that?

I guess it’s one of those things that only those of us who have autism in our families really take note of.

Thing is, autism is one of these “hidden” disabilities.

So most people see Max having a Very Bad Day as just bad parenting on my part, or a very naughty child.

It’s not though.

It’s not my fault, and it’s most certainly not his fault.

You see, Max’s autism means that he doesn’t see the world the way we do.

We think in words.

He thinks in pictures.

He has no concept of danger, or time, or actions and consequences.

Things like noise, or light, or smells, can be far too much for his sensory processing to handle.

When Max gets into meltdown mode, nothing can placate him.

Some people call it a red mist. Once you get in it, the only way through is to ride the meltdown.

Luckily we’re now in a position that he’s getting enough sleep, which means he’s more able to deal with whatever’s thrown at him.

That doesn’t mean we just do whatever we please though.

I have to schedule things like taking him to a shoe shop to get measured at a time when the place will be very quiet, and I make sure the staff know what to expect.

If I tried to take him on a saturday, for example, he’d completely freak out as there would be too many people, too many noises, too many smells. Just too much.

So here’s a list of some posts I’ve written in the past about living with Max’s autism:

It’s a Long Road Ahead…

Weathering the Storm

Maybe a Breakthrough?

“No Communication Day” – my take on it

Fantastical Highs and Aggravating Lows

You Should Be So Lucky

Big Brothers Ain’t So Bad

How I Imagine Sensory Overload Feels

Imagination… We Have It!

This is the Hard Bit

Officially Autistic

A Good Day!

It’s Good to Get a Pat on the Back!

Melatonin Works!

Hopefully they’ll help gain an insight to what it means for us, and maybe you’ll remember to not be quite so judgemental of the mum who’s ignoring her screaming, tantrumming child in the middle of the supermarket, eh?



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  1. morning Dove
    April 2, 2011 / 3:35 pm

    what a lovely post and lovely family. i can’t imagine the scheduling you have to do for the comfort of max. so wonderful he has a loving mum.

  2. April 2, 2011 / 8:43 pm

    Great post Marilyn. Max is so lucky to have you – and you him, of course. It is astounding what you have to think about and organise.

  3. April 2, 2011 / 9:04 pm

    Thanks Tasha! You know, the thing is I don’t even have to think about it too much these days. It’s become second nature to me now! 🙂 x

  4. April 2, 2011 / 9:59 pm

    Fantastic post that captures what it’s like to have an autistic child. I vividly remember the looks I used to get at preschool because it always appeared that Little S wasn’t listening and that I had no control. It is very much a hidden disability like you say x

  5. April 2, 2011 / 11:11 pm

    Is it weird to say Happy Autism Awareness day? Heh. Good post hun. xx

  6. April 3, 2011 / 12:01 am

    Thanks Clare, it’s hard to ignore those looks isn’t it? We’re better for it though, that much I know! 🙂 x

  7. April 3, 2011 / 12:01 am

    Thanks so much Natasha! You’re an absolute sweetheart. 🙂 x

  8. April 3, 2011 / 12:08 am

    I love that you brought attention to an important topic in such a beautiful way. The way you love your children is awe inspiring. They are lucky to have you. Thank you for the picture you painted with words you opened my eyes and my heart in a completely new way!

  9. April 3, 2011 / 12:17 am

    I have a good feeling that once Max is your son’s age, he’ll be coping really well too. 🙂 xx

  10. April 3, 2011 / 8:53 am

    What a great post! My son is now 14 and coping really well, but the memories of the looks and comments from strangers when he was having a meltdown outside are still vivid. xx

  11. April 3, 2011 / 6:30 pm

    Well I like to have a moan about my children now and again but I can’t imagine what it’s like living with these challenges you have day in and day out. Blogging about it as you do is so important in raising awareness and understanding. Otherwise the rest of us coast along in life fairly oblivious and that’s not right.

  12. April 3, 2011 / 8:02 pm

    Thanks Emily! Of course we all need to have a moan about our kids – regardless of whether they have a disability or not, raising kids is HARD work!! *hugs* x

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