Saturday, 5 March 2011

Dispelling myths: autism and showing affection

People with autism are not all 'trapped in their own world.' Many do show affection, but may express it atypically and on their terms. They may suffer sensory overload - and find hugs overwhelming - unless they initiate them. When a person with autism does form an attachment to you it can be draining but the rewards are huge. Our daughter loves having her hands massaged and hair gently played with, and being squeezed and squeezing back. She also enjoys horseplay and light rough and tumble. Today when I was clearing away the breakfast things, she approached me out of the blue, smiling with her arms outstretched for a cuddle and said 'I love you much.' When she hasn't seen me for a while and spots me coming, her face flushes with joy and she runs towards me. Yes, she will go to anyone who offers her something she wants - like chocolate - but she will only spontaneously approach a chosen few with such rapture.

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