Five Senses Blog Tour

autism

Autism Fact:

People who are Hypersensitive to body awareness may have difficulties with fine motor skills: manipulating small objects like buttons or shoe laces. They may also move their whole body to look at something.

 

When RJ asked me to participate in this tour I wasn’t sure what I would discuss. There are so many aspects of autism that touch someone with this diagnosis. Autism is a personal subject for both RJ Scott and myself since we both have sons with autism

People with autism interact differently. They think with a slightly different perspective. My youngest child is autistic. He didn’t really talk until he was almost three. Sure he’d say a few words, but he did better with pointing and motioning than speaking. Although I tried everything I could to tell people there was something wrong with his development no one would listen. Because of that he wasn’t diagnosed until he was almost five.

When they say autism is a spectrum they really do mean it. My son is what is considered highly functioning autism, but on really bad days he can’t put all the words together in his head to communicate. When he was younger most of his teary episodes were about him not being able to get me to understand.

When it comes to the five senses I think my son’s sense of touch is the most pronounced. On days that he’s stressed he tends to run his fingers across things that have texture as if he can find comfort in the contact of a bumpy pillow or reassuringly hard Lego. I know when trying to get him to focus I sometimes clasp hands with him. Touching grounds him. When his fingers are entwined with mine he can’t pace and he has to focus on me. Sometimes it helps him find his words, and sometimes it doesn’t.

If you know someone with autism, or even meet one, my advice to you is to be patient. It might take a little more of your time to figure out what they are trying to tell you, but it makes all the difference to them that you tried.

I’ve always been timid about writing stories about people with different handicaps because I don’t really know what it’s like to have one, and I don’t want to insult those who do. Maybe one day I will gather the courage to write an autistic character. A person like my son who is funny with a sly wit that comes out when you least expect it.

Leave a comment below and I will enter you to win a $25.00  gift card  to the ebookstore of your choice.

 

 

49 thoughts on “Five Senses Blog Tour

  1. I find that empathy and/or sympathy is a key component in your writing. Just because you do not have a specific issue in your personal world does not mean that you are unable to share a vision to the best of your ability. I find I love your worlds due to the fact that your characters are able to succeed despite issues/handicaps and that when they look outside the box they have been placed in by others, they fly.

    Marcine

  2. My nieces son has autism and she uses a picture book so he can turn to the page and point to what he wants. His twin sister is his champion and protects him when she can. My heart goes out to all who have to struggle with the doctors to understand parents do know their child and the earlier you get help is better.

  3. If you ever write a book with a character like your son I would definitely buy and read it. I think most people with autism can be just awesome people you just have to work a little harder to get to know them, and for them to come out of their shell enough to get to know you that’s all.

  4. My nephew is autistic but, as he lives in America, I’ve never had to interact on a personal basis with him. I’d like to think I’d be understanding and patient but I really don’t know if I would.
    I’d love to read a story with a character based on your son. I think you would do it justice with your personal insights.

  5. Great post! I’ve read several books which contain characters with Autism and I’ve found them to be absolutely fantastic reads. And I completely agree – more people should be patient.

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Amber. It must be difficult when you realise something it is not as it was supposed to be, and people around you just do not understand. I have a friend with a similar problem, and it was after an extensed research that she was able to find out what was the problem and find a doctor able to treat her son, who is an amazing person, by the way, just a little bit different. 🙂

  7. My grandson was just diagnosed, it’s been both tough and inspiring. I’m amazed by how he thinks as we travel through his journey. He’s 10

  8. My daughter worked with developmently handicapped adults until she burned-out. This was over 20 years ago and at that time I had a small used book store. One of her clients was a young man with autism and she had to take for outings. My bookstore was one of the few places they were comfortable. I didn’t mind if he walked up and down each row touching and counting the books. Occasionally he would sit on the couch and have a juice but mostly walking and counting. She also had a girl with down’s but that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say it had to do with indiscriminate farting.

  9. I never met someone with autism but I’ve read some books which one of the main characters has it and some of the things they go through and how caring they can be. Great post, by the way.

  10. I don’t know anyone with autism but my aunt (my father’s twin) at the age of 5 got meningitis and the high fever pretty much fried her brain, so I know how it is to grow up with a handicapped person, how much effort and patience is needed and how brilliant they can be in their own ways.

  11. I am a teacher and had a student with autism. His Mom worked with me so that he could have a good year.

  12. I am lucky to see all kinds of kids in my job as a librarian. I do book clubs in the summer reading program and we have a blast! A couple of my kids are special needs—because it is a summer program for fun, the stress is off. Kids who have issues with reading are grabbing a family member and having the book read to them out loud. Kids who have social issues find it easier to deal with me because I only keep them for an hour. I think I am blessed with all my kids—they make MY life brighter!

  13. Thank you for sharing with us, I can relate to the frustration as a mother, my son didn’t speak as a child until he was 5 and many doctor who thought mom was nuts. My son had a hearing issue. I think you would write an amazing book if you choose and I also would buy i

  14. What a heartfelt and well thought out intro. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your son. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  15. Thank you for sharing. My father is suffering from dementia and he fixates on things as well. Patience is definitely needed so that he can communicate what he wants in his own time and you’re right, touch is so important.

  16. i have a grandson who is 16 and it has taken all 16 years to figure out his moods and the things that he needs the adults to learn from and about him. it has been a frustrating and rewarding road. to the doctor who suggested he be put in an institution at 3 i say go back to school and to others that deal with this disorder i say god bless.

  17. Your son sounds like an amazing young man and he is lucky to have you by his side. I love your stories and know you would do a great job with anything you tried

  18. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I found the description of you clasping hands with your son to help ground each other quite moving. I hope you do write a story with an autistic MC…the stories I have read like that have been so enlightening.

  19. It is so inspiring what you guys are doing. I work as a teachers assistant in an Ellementary School and I see the face of autism everyday. I see some of these children in a mainstream classroom learn and play together with teachers,caregivers,parents and siblings who will stop at nothing to ensure that they are happy and well loved. I have learned so much from our Parents and their children it’s just amazing.

  20. When you see the person behind the symptom, that’s what really makes a difference to them. I’ve heard it before from a mom who thanked me for making eye contact and speaking directly to their child, and it rings true in any interaction really. Honest, sincere attempt to connect.

  21. Thank you for sharing something so personal.. I really think what you guys are doing to raise awareness is amazing.

  22. I had a student with autism who participated in my LEGO Robotics League. He did have some spectacular melt downs but he responded to me and came back.

  23. I love your post. My son has Asperger’s and although there are days that it’s super challenging, I love everything about him. I would love to read a story by you with a character on the spectrum.

  24. I find such comfort in your writing and I think you would do wonderfully well in writing a story with a character with disability. You just have a way of seeing that character completely and that right there is what would make it a great story.

  25. Thank you for sharing and participating in this so important blog hop.

    As a mother of a son who is multipled disabled, meaning physically disabled, mentally disabled and on top of that has (classic) autism i can’t thank you enough.
    As for reading i do love books that deal with some kind of disability and i think it is because of my son, so i do hope you will gather the courage someday to write a book with a autistic character, because although you don’t know what it is to have it you deal with it every day because of your son 🙂
    Thanks again for helping to raise awareness.

  26. I love when you give us little insights into the awesomeness that is your youngest and his managing of the family.

  27. I love legos had a ball playing with them when my son was small I can understand the your sons love of them With you as his Mother he has an great start in the life that will not always be easy. What ever you write I will read.

  28. Bless you for your patience and love. I grew up in abusive households and discovered early I have a hair trigger. I was impatient with children without disabilities and was terrified I would snap on a child that was a challenge, so I never had kids. I never considered my husband’s side though. We have a friend with an autistic son that thinks my husband hung the moon, and my husband can draw him out like no one else can. They adore each other and it gives the mom, his sole carer, a break.

  29. It’s so important to get understanding about autism, and how it can affect people in so many different ways. Three of my children are autistic, and although they have lots in common, their triggers are all very different.

    Posts like these are so important, so I’ve shared 🙂

  30. I want to say thank you for taking a few moments to touch on this subject. I am a single mom raising two Autistic girls. They are as different as day and night. One isolates and pulls away from too much contact but loves music, the other is violent and verbally abrasive while still very sensitive to touch.

    Thank for this chance.

  31. I don’t know anyone with autism but my sister has a learning disorder. I think that is sound advice and I know it works in regards to my sister. Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway chance.

  32. You are a inspiration and a wonderful writer and mother….thank you for your insight and wonderful story telling.

  33. I always appreciate your insightful comments about autism. My family has several diagnosed with on the spectrum and while their challenges are as individual as they are, it is refreshing to have other families share their stories, struggles and triumphs. Thank you for sharing!

  34. Knowing someone with autism is a study in patience. My nephew is a director of a home that helps young adult and adult to learn how to live on their own.

  35. Thank you for your thoughts. My 21 year old son is big on touch too. We had to search out material that matched his childhood blankies to make a full size blanket for him as he got older. Also, he has to touch all new clothes in the store to make sure it is soft enough. He won’t wear jeans because they are too rough. I love all that you have written and can’t wait for more.

  36. Thank you for sharing a personal story. Awareness is so important and sometimes the most moving stories come from parents.

  37. My adult daughter is also a person with HFA and Sensory Defensive Disorder. About 25 years ago a wonderful doctor explained my daughter’s repeated startle reaction, usually followed quickly by her anger, with this analogy.

    He asked what I would do if someone pushed me and my hand landed on a hot burner on the stove. I replied that I would jerk it away. He said that’s what my daughter was doing when she stiffened and pulled away from people. Then he asked how I would feel if everyone who came near me grabbed my hand and forced it onto the burner again and again. I responded that I would be mad as hell. And he said that my daughter had that feeling every time she was somewhere that people were wearing cologne, and every color and every light in a place was bright or neon colored, and then people kept trying to touch or hug her and tell her (in too loud of a voice) that everything was fine, when it clearly wasn’t.

    That has stayed with me all these years and still helps when I reach the point of frustration. My daughter lives in a mother-in-law apartment attached to my home and is a total joy in my life, but there are hard days. And people need to remember that this isn’t something that goes away as the kids age.

  38. Since society tends to paint autism in very broad strokes, personal stories like yours are so important!

  39. My eldest son is highly functioning autistic and verbal dyspraxic. We were fortunate in that we were able to have him evaluated and diagnosed early, though some people told us we were crazy. I think it is really wonderful that you work to bring awareness to autism.

  40. Can so relate to the touch issue. There is an actual psychological condition that relate to people like myself. If I am deprived of being touched for an extended period of time I sink into deep dark depressions that can take me months to come back to the light. It is essential that I have a pet with me to ensure I don’t “fall”.

  41. My brother is high functioning autistic he always had issues with texture. When he was little if he sticky he would hold his hands out until someone cleaned them for him he still won’t eat rice because it feels wrong. He’s 16 now and going to college independently studying animal care. He even managed to arrange his own work experience at a local vets (they let him email he hates phoning people!). He will always be autistic but as he gets older he is learning how cope with the outside world and he will always be one of the most interesting people I know.

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