What Autism Means to Me

by Jim Deaves

What autism means to me: You might think of autism as a disability, but it is more important to think of autism as having abilities. So, it's about both being able and then sometimes not being able.

How it affects my life is a difficult question. But I am more sensitive to my environment. For instance, I am more sensitive to high tone, loud sounds and noise. That is very hard on me.

Support friends can help an individual with autism by being considerate, kind and by being patient - having patience. It is important for support friends to know that sometimes within, during the moment, I get overwhelmed and that it's just one of those times or positions. In these times, together, we do deep breathing or deep breaths. Friends need to have the freedom to come into the soul spirit softly and as well with gentleness. What I find helpful is to have a good pace to the day that I have planned and can count on. That way, I'm prepared, calm and I don't get all stressed, nervous and anxious. Also the time is flexible so I can leave whenever - then nothing gets built up.