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Autism Blue


By: Sheri Hooper

Every year in the month of April is “World Autism Awareness Day”. Many people show support by cleverly placing this shade into their life on April 2nd or throughout the month of April. Sharp minds will quickly notice a change with those who are strongly advocating this complex disorder. For instance, a person known for their love of purple – suddenly and without confession, will be wearing blue for the entire month. Others may make a “blue” alteration to their website(s), photographs, icons, social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc…) Some may be sporting a blue bracelet, charms, necklace or ribbons. These fine folks are SHOUTING OUT their savvy AWARENESS of Autism, Asperger’s and all other closely related syndromes. Their ambitions are to encourage others joining them, bonding a strong energy of devoted acceptance and defense for themselves and the ones they love with Autism. These shadows of blue are symbolic.

There are some known facts about Autism. Genetics play a key role. If anyone in your gene pool has Autism chances are you or your children will also. The statistics, regardless of DNA are 1 in 68. This is the latest fraction as the numbers being diagnosed are growing higher, somewhat rapidly, year after year. Autism is not retardation, as a matter of fact many on this spectrum are considered brilliant with IQ’s in the 180’s. Fans of CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” – Dr. Sheldon Cooper, PHD – has an Intelligence Quota of 187. He is played by beloved actor, Jim Parson’s. Dr. Cooper, though not crazy (his mother had him tested) has an eidetic memory and an exemplary “model” for someone with Asperger’s also known as “Aspie’s” or an individual with High Functioning Autism. No Bazinga’s, it is the straight up truth! If you adore Sheldon you would probably be a sucker for someone with Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism. Personally I believe the higher the IQ combined with considerable triumphs that others find difficult reaching and an irresistible whimsicality makes for these type of people. Those who are diagnosed though locked inside of themselves without ability of functioning back in a language we all understand; I comprehend these souls are so brilliant that they see, feel, hear, smell, taste, the world differently than others do.

Whatever their “score” they are actually above the average person, having superpowers not everyone are conscious of. The world around Autistics view them as mentally defective, slow, and simple-minded. Teachers often do not want to deal with these troublesome students and they get left behind unfairly. Judgmental cruelty is universal. Most in our society have no idea that these Gifted People effortlessly sliding down the Autistic Spectrum are actually talented and remarkably bright. It may take years, even decades before others realize what a champion this person “is” present tense and not, “was”, past tense. Woefully many are not diagnosed until after death.

Some famous “non fiction” Autism/Asperger’s people are Albert Einstein, Daryl Hannah, Courtney Love, Dan Aykroyd, Susan Boyle, Miss Montana – Alexis Wineman, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Beethoven, Thomas Edison, Andy Warhol, Michelangelo, Mozart, Vincent Van Gogh, Sir Isaac Newton, Emily Dickinson, Orson Wells, Carl Sagan, Marie Curie. One might say Autism equals Genius and for many, towering achievements.

Unfortunately these folks find social situations unbearable. People often refer to them as “quirky” and some with Eidetic Memories are in misery because they do not have fond memories of childhood. They forget nothing. Rarely does anything get past them that they do not remember. They have Photographic Memories or as some like to say, Total Recall. Past child abuse does not simply vanish or hard to pull up, it is still there. They recollect everything to the last detail. Paragraphs of specific information, dates, times, smells, pain are fresh as if they happened yesterday. Generally at age six memories begin to fade but those with Eidetic Memories and those diagnosed with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), remember great details of their own life. Reports of memories with first steps and first birthdays, are not unheard of. They are filled with vivid recapture that they may or may not find comforting. Some are in agony wishing their flashbacks would melt into amnesia. Patients with HSAM who have been studied show significantly different patterns of MRI Brain Activity compared to others. They also often have differences in brain structure. Phenomenal skills and superior perception though they frequently suffer from depression caused by their inability to forget, holding onto surprisingly amounts of information. They seem to be an expert at everything, eventually making others insanely jealous. These are the kids that continually beat out others in board games, music skills, and anything else involving memorization.

There are numerous signs pointing to Autism or Asperger’s. Seizure Disorders are more common with those diagnosed with Autism. Anywhere on the Autistic Spectrum children and adults have a 40-50% chance of developing Epilepsy and/or Seizures. Other signals include repetitive rocking, Sensory problems to sounds or touch. Some clothing fabrics can be torture to wear on those with Autism. Specific furniture items may be uncomfortable for them to sit on. Bathtubs that are worn (especially old porcelain tubs) are excruciating to them if not nauseating. The simple process of bathing can be addressed with special bathmats to sit on, washcloths, towels or avoiding porcelain altogether and buying tubs made from fiberglass instead. Another tip would be using a shower instead of a tub. Bathing a screaming child or adult in an old tub makes them hypersensitive, the entire experience is terribly painful and not at all relaxing or pleasurable as most people find them.

Throughout the month of April I remained steady on my blue thematic. The first week brought no attention, however by the 8th day people began to notice. At the very end of the thirty days I received many emails, telephone calls, and texts – for posting things that were blue or holding onto that theme. Here are my Top 12 favorites. I will leave out the question someone asking if I was suicidal. Blue = Suicide? Not this time honey, BLUE stood for AUTISM and ASPERGERS. To end this month and this article for April 2014, here are 12 that gave me a giggle or two.

Are you depressed?

Why are you posting something blue everyday in your posts. Is everything ok?

I’ve noticed you have been posting alot of blue things on your facebook and twitter. Did something happen?

You seem sad. Let me know, k?

Did someone die? Your pics look like you are mourning.

I see your shots have been blue colored nearly all month, maybe all month. What is going on girl?

Sheri did you dye your hair blue?

Did you turn into a Smurf?

I saw all the blue pics whats the matter?

Has someone hurt your feelings?

Does this month mean something signficant to you?

Have you changed religions?

 I do not mind the questions. That was part of the experiment. When answering these people (and others) it opened a door where I could share knowledge about Autism, Asperger’s, The Spectrum, etc… Next April follow along in my footsteps. Give BLUE a whirl. See what happens.

SHINE  the  LIGHT!

 


Autism Speaks

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