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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No More Puzzles

I am so tired of seeing autism spectrum disorders represented by a puzzle ... as if people on the spectrum are a complex mystery to others, or worse, have "missing pieces." Every time I turn around, the media launches some new expose about autism, and out trots the puzzle, always with jumbled pieces or, more disturbing, fully assembled except for a few missing pieces.

I know that I am different. I know that the Tongginator is different. But we aren't jumbled, and we do possess all of our pieces. What might be more appropriate is to instead depict autism spectrum disorders as early abstract paintings, ones that allude to real forms, but take some thought to understand.

At least, that's how I feel some days. Abstract, and difficult to understand.

It's so very challenging to explain sensory integration dysfunction to someone who doesn't live with it on a daily basis. In our home we do, times two. I am over-sensitive and the Tongginator is sensory-seeking. For me, the world often feels too loud, too bright, too fast and too tight. For the Tongginator, life can never supply enough noise, color, movement and texture. What I avoid, she craves. What I run from, she runs towards. God surely has a sense of humor.

It takes a lot of thought to understand us, but it's worth it in the end, because we both are beautiful, despite our quirks. We are in good company ... just visualize the works of Jackson Pollock, Kandinsky or Paul Klee ... all very beautiful, if a trifle odd.

That's us: beautiful, but a trifle odd.


CC said...

LOVELY post.