As the saying goes if you’ve met one person with autism you’ve met one person with autism .
Common factors of autism are social communications difficulties as well as sensory issues ,but Autism is different for everyone.
This is Autism Ollies way .
Ollie is 9 ,physically he’s developing “normally” for want of a better word, he looks just like any other 9 year old.
You could well look at him and think he is just like any other 9 year old .But then you might notice that he doesn’t look you in the eye, doesn’t speak to you and if you speak to him he will only answer with yes ,no or I don’t know. You may notice that he pulls faces ,grimaces,makes twitchy movements .These are his tics. They are always worse when he is stressed or tired .He cant control them .You would also notice that he makes noises. Sounds ,words ,sometimes whole sentences ,always random. Ollie doesn’t know what he will say until he says it. He cant control this either. At the moment he’s mostly saying “merry Christmas ,everybodys having fun ”
Sometimes he spits! If he is made fun of or told off for any of these tics they will just get worse. Of course Ollie and I laugh about them ,we even make fun of them ,but that’s different ,I’m mum.
Another thing about Ollie is that he doesn’t get sarcasm at all. He takes everything literally and can get quite confused or upset by sarcasm. He usually doesn’t get jokes either. Something that Ollie hates is sayings ,things like “you drive me up the wall” “raining cats and dogs” You often hear Ollie saying “but I don’t get it ”
Ollie cant cope in a classroom (or school for that matter) too many people ,too much noise ,too much visual stimulation ,in school Ollie would go into sensory overload where everything was just too much ,this led to meltdowns where Ollie would lash out ,scream ,shout ,sometimes becoming violent.
Shops are much the same ,there are too many people too much going on and shops are the perfect example of sensory overload Ollie becomes very stressed and agitated if he needs to go into a shop. The last time we ventured into a shop a lady bumped into him and he became very very vocal shouting that the lady was an idiot and careless.
Buses are another minefield. Ollie wont sit unless I can sit next to him and he likes to spend the bus ride sitting silently trying not to notice what is going on around him.
Ollie is at his happiest when he has “private time” He likes to be up in my room alone playing roblox or watching minecraft videos.
Sometimes I need to go as far as to ban private time otherwise he would hardly come down.
Ollie takes melatonin to help him sleep at night because he finds it very hard to settle. Even then he’s often still going till midnight. He’s full of a million questions about everything every night. That can be exhausting and I’m eternally grateful for google .At the age of nine he still sleeps in my bed ,ocasionally he will sleep on a bed in my room (hardly ever)
Food is another issue, Ollie often wont eat because he’s always sure there is a hair on his food (there isn’t) letting him inspect the food helps. He wont eat out except for McDonalds, he trusts McDonalds.
All this said ,Ollie is an extremely bright little boy, incredibly quick to learn and he gas a memory like no one Ive ever known.
Life with Ollie, with autism, isnt always easy and its certainly different but never less than life with a child that doesn’t have autism.
Autism wont stop Ollie being or doing whatever he wants its just a part of all the wonderful he does , is, and will be.
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