Wow... where to start? Here at Beloved Bath we always strive to shine a positive light on autism, people with autism, and the family/caregiver network that is so critical for individuals with autism reaching their fullest potential.
So.... to all the families caring for people with autism (and all disabilities) we salute you, we are with you, and we empathize with the myriad of challenges living under the global pandemic and national shut down. To people who have autism, we support and value you.
Autism is different for every person, but a hallmark of autism is the need for structure and routine. Schools, therapies, employment, leisure activities, daily routines, friends- everything just stopped. This is so hard for everyone but is amplified for those with autism. Since many with autism have language difficulties the explanations, reasoning, and the "temporary" nature behind these dramatic changes may not be fully understood.
What is striking about this Autism Awareness month is that many of us are getting a taste of what it is like to not have a voice or make choices for ourselves. The activities we want are (likely) not available to us. Many find themselves unemployed or underemployed. The foods we desire may not be accessible. We are not participants in our local communities, and there are new and complicated rules that are not easy to follow. There are many parallels between our new normal and in many cases living with autism. Autism is a spectrum disorder and impacts every person in different ways.
Here is to hoping that soon everyone will have more choices, a clear voice, and participate fully in society. For most of us this will happen in the coming weeks. For some with autism it will take more time and require more than a lifting of restrictions. A paradigm shift is needed.... but that is for another day....
The Beloved Bath Crew