‘Without what made me “me”, I’d be a shadow of myself’ – Portraits of life on the autism spectrum
I have been immersed in the world of autism since my son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Graham had many of the traits of autism from when he was a baby: speech and motor skill delays, sensory sensitivities, anxiety in big social gatherings and more. He had seen professionals for evaluations, but did not get a diagnosis until he was seven.
This was a kid who had meltdowns over the sound of a blowdryer one floor up, the feel of a new shirt and the sight of a slice of cherry pie. Our lowest point was when he started refusing to enter homes he hadn’t been in before, or getting so upset at entering a restaurant that he would throw up. At least now I can sort of laugh when I think of the strangers in the grocery store who would approach him, then a cherubic toddler, and ask what his name was. “Mr Stupid Nobody,” was his reply.