April is Autism awareness month. For anyone who doesn’t have their head in the clouds and is already AWARE of autism let’s spread that gesture to ACCEPTANCE and UNDERSTANDING.
I can’t speak for all people with autism just because I know one and I’m not going to claim to be able to. Just like I can’t speak for all women or parents just because I am one.
But I *do* know Dylan and if I can increase the worlds understanding of Dylan and his autism using everyday examples then hopefully we can all create a society that has insight and understanding for him and others like him.
Day 1: Queues.
Dylan can appear rude because he often doesn’t understand or adhere to social rules such as queuing. To Dylan if he wants to buy something in a shop and sees a cashier at the till then he wants to go straight to the till and pay.
That’s just his logic.
We are working hard on teaching him how to recognise queues and the behaviour that we all keep to when queuing:
** don’t stand too close to the person in front,
** ensure you move forward when the person in front of you does,
** don’t skip around
** don’t accidently hit anyone with your basket as you skip (even though it’s all you can do to keep yourself mentally focused on waiting in line.)
These are all factors that Dylan has to constantly be reminded of to maintain a successful queue. Queuing is a social process that you or I may take for granted but the purpose and rules of queueing are lost on Dylan because of his autistic logic; to him it seems like a pointless exercise which prevents him paying for his beloved crisps and getting the hell out of a busy shop.
So please, if he pushes in front of you or doesn’t queue without skipping or humming; don’t stare, but smile and give him time to get it right.
Theres a lot of work going on there.