Autism Spectrum Disorder: What My Daughter Has Taught Me About Being "Normal" by Carrie Hix Eddy
My daughter has something called high-functioning autism, previously referred to as Asperger’s. She also has sensory processing disorder and OCD. I’ve heard comments like “she seems normal,” “it’s just a phase” and “kids are over-diagnosed these days.” Autism is a spectrum disorder that includes a wide range of symptoms that can vary greatly from person to person. It’s important to remember that people on the spectrum are like snowflakes – no one is the same, and they are all beautifully unique.
Please know that it’s not always the behavior that’s uncommon; it’s the frequency, duration and intensity of the behavior. But she’s a quick learner and learned early on how to mask and maintain, and what behaviors were acceptable. Doctors describe kids like her as chameleons – what you see are kids having fun, interacting, participating, and mimicking their peers so they blend in. What you don’t see is how much effort they put into those activities.
I hope that people will understand that what they often see is just a glimpse of who our kids are. What this journey has taught me is that my daughter is amazing! She’s independent, fierce, passionate, loving, friendly and inspiring. Comments about “how normal she appears” don’t upset me anymore; they give me hope.
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