When your child is going through the autism diagnostic process, they will ask if your child reminds you of someoneÂ else in the family. Â You name Grandpa, Auntie Millie, and Cousin Jim. Â Ahem, and who else? Â Mom? Â Dad?
Autism tends to run in families, so you might start seeing autism traits in yourself or your child’s other parent. Â You don’t necessarily need to be diagnosed, but delving into the traits you may have, can better help you understand your child.
Here is a quick quiz to look into your own possible symptoms.
Adults with autism may not necessarily show the symptoms the same way. Â For example, when I have a meltdown, I get angry, sweaty, scared, anxious, or all of the above, and instead of yelling or other ways a child may express a meltdown, I walk away or go home. Â If my meltdown is at home, such as when we have people over, I go downstairs and immerse myself in writing or learning more web programming.
But, the company we have over the most are my step-kids and step-daughter-in-law, and I adore them, so when I have “come down,” I go back upstairs and parallel play or engage in some conversation. Â I don’t talk too much, but they know me well enough, I think, that the parallel play is being with them.
So, at this point, you are learning a lot about autism in your child, and perhaps in yourself. Â You have participated in parent groups online to learn and ask advice and to get and give support. Â You have learned more about symptoms in yourself, or maybe sought an official diagnosis.
Then comes the “ah-ha.” Â It all starts making sense that you and your child are not “different,” rather, you are a part of a large community of autistic adultsÂ and children. Â Then, you start hearing about famous people on the autism spectrum, many of which are thought to have autism, such as Einstein or DaVinci.
Wikipedia has a list of people on the spectrum citingÂ sources. Â The only think I don’t like about the list is a section name “high-functioning.” Â Functioning level and experience are different for every person on the spectrum. Â Also, I don’t know how “functioning level” could be defined. Â I function quite well at some things, and I have to work hard at others, such as social skills.
But, I learn, as does every person on the spectrum. Â Autism is a developmental disorder, so I like to think of it as continuing to develop. Â What I can do now, I may not have known how in the past.
Now, given that you have learned some or more about autism, can you spot other adults or children on the spectrum? Â I have gained “autism radar,” where I can see traits in others as I am out and about, such as a grocery checkout clerk or staff at the doctor’s office.