Entries by Leia Solo

Empaths

On a number of occasions, I’ve come across the view that autistic people lack empathy. This is a popular view in mainstream therapeutic circles and the media and one that many families seem to absorb. Being autistic means some kind of problem empathizing. I’ve heard parents of autistic children comment that their child ‘didn’t grieve’ when a loved one died […]

Family bonding, autistic style.

Like many autistic children, our son doesn’t do well in crowds. He’s at his best one-on-one and anything more than that tends to lead to sensory overload. This is particularly challenging when it comes to family get togethers. He enjoys wandering around the farm with his Granny or plodding around the retirement village with his […]

This is what acceptance feels like

For 4 years now, April has been ‘Autism Awareness’ month, with April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day. You might have heard about the ‘Light it up blue’ campaign established by US organisation Autism Speaks, to raise awareness (and money) for autism. This sounds like a noble idea. If you dug a little deeper however, you’d […]

An insider’s view of ‘Special Interests’

If you’ve done any reading about autism you’ve probably come across the term ‘Restricted Interest’ or ‘Special Interest’. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V), which is used to diagnose autism defines special interests as ‘Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively […]

Embrace the label

I’ve read a few comments on various social networking sites from parents who are hesitant to pursue a diagnosis for their child because they worry about them being ‘labelled’ as autistic. I remember feeling that way myself when considering what was best for my 3 year old son. I’m no fan of the medical model, […]