What Autism Looks Like in our House

Amy Cameron by Amy Cameron Additional Needs

Amy Cameron

Amy Cameron

I’m mummy to 2 boys with very different needs - follow us to see how we live a different kind of normal.

April; autism awareness month. Autism is such a big diagnosis and such a broad spectrum, what autism looks like for one person can be completely different from what another person experiences.

This month I wanted to share what autism means for our family and what autism looks like in our house.

Autism in our house is loud: My son will sing, talk, shout, and scream all at the top of his voice.

Sometimes he isn’t even aware that he’s being loud – he zones out into his own world unaware that the rest of us can’t hear anything other than his voice.

In fact, I’m sure our whole street can hear him at times. The funny thing is he actually hates a lot of noise; he can’t focus if there’s too much background noise and he will pick up on the faintest noise that no one else can hear.

When it comes to his own noise though, loud seems to be okay!

Autism in our house is routine: my son functions best when we have a strict routine in place.

He needs to know what is happening and when. Everything in our house is carefully planned to allow plenty of warning time of what’s coming up.

My son can be lost on school holidays etc. because he doesn’t know what to be doing with himself when the routine changes.

Very often we have to plan out his tasks for him to keep him feeling safe and in control. This means if you visit our house unexpectedly you are likely to be faced with some panic from my son.

Routine works for him and if he’s happy so are the rest of us.

Autism in our house means there are meltdowns: my son will have meltdowns for various reasons; the dinner didn’t taste right, he had to wear jeans, his schedule changed, the end of the school day, he lost his measuring tape, he got really excited about something.

Melt downs can mean screaming, shouting, crying and sometimes they can be physical. In our house we use “cool down” time and sometimes we just have to ride out the storm.

If you are in our house when we are experiencing a meltdown please try to be understanding; don’t try to talk my son out of it as he cannot understand all the complex language when he’s in this heightened state.

You can help by remaining calm and letting us use our strategies until my son’s world returns to some kind of order for him.

Autism in our house means literal thinking: my son takes everything literally so we often have to be careful how we say things.

He needs clear, explicit instructions to be able to carry out a task and he can misunderstand conversations that are not clear.

If he is ignoring you or not answering your question it may be that he’s not actually picked up that you are talking to him or he may not understand what you are actually asking of him.

Autism in our house is amazing: my son's mind works in an incredible way.

He sees the world in numbers and fascinates me with his number ability. He sees tiny little details in every day life that I would so easily miss if he didn’t point them out.

He remembers interesting facts and amazes me with the things he learns. I have learned so much from watching the way he works and he makes me laugh daily with his quirky humour.

Autism means our house is crazy busy, there’s never a dull moment and I love it. My son is my world and our house is his home.

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