ACCESS-ABILITY ACCESS-ABILITY_Vol1_Issue4 - Page 42

AUTISM: SUPERHEROES Every child is unique. Every child has challenges. And every child has amazing strengths? even super powers. Children with autism are no different. In fact, many superheroes in comic book lore may have had autism spectrum disorder. According to the CDC, as of 2014, 1 in every 68 children is identified as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is very likely that you know one o f these children. People with ASD may experience the world differently than you or I do. They often have difficulty understanding other people?s perspectives, which makes social interactions challenging. It may be hard for them to regulate emotion or integrate all of the different sensory inputs coming at them. But they also have amazing skills that most typically developing people don?t have. Many traits can be considered either strengths or weaknesses depending on the context in which they occur. A child who has difficulty grasping the big picture can focus in and pick out minute details. Sometimes, attention to detail is an incredible strength, as in the case of a mathematician, computer programmer, or artist. The ability to hyper-focus can sometimes result in remarkable productivity and creativity. A person who has difficulty perceiving the emotional states of others may be highly logical and able to make impartial decisions. The website https://www.autismspeaks.org provides a wealth of information about B y P a ig e J e n se n ASD and its associated strengths and challenges. In the midst of all the unknowns surrounding ASD, I challenge you to discover what your child?s superpower may be!