Thursday, April 2, 2009

Autism - a piece of the jigsaw

When I signed up for a blog on Autism Day I was unsure about the image to use. Very often, jigsaws are used to portray the various campaigns and support groups but I know there is some dissatisfaction about it. I decided on this one. Autism covers a very wide spectrum, but fitting in with others is a common difficulty. Adults living with this condition do suffer from strained relationships with others and it can be a struggle to maintain the kind of relationships that we take for granted. Sufferers can get very upset about the way in which they are treated by other people who have no conception about what it's like. It is not true, as is commonly thought, that those with autism do not want friends. Yet there are problems in being understood. According to some self reports, adults with the condition sometimes retreat into their own world. If you see someone gently rocking at a supermarket shelf, and you think they may be suffering, just give them their own space - a bit like the image of the jigsaw piece here.