Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How Many Autistic Kids Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Question: How many Autistic kids does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer:  Zero

Whether you ask one kid or a dozen kids with Autism, their first response is likely to be the same…“Why?”
This may seem like a silly response to someone with a “typical brain”…but that’s just because your brain hasn’t considered all the options like someone with an Autism brain.

For example:
Outwardly the light bulb looks the same as it did yesterday. There seems no reason to change it.
On an anxiety scale of 1 to 10, people with Autism rock a Spinal Tap 11.  Any change, whether trying a new food, rearranging furniture in a room or taking a different route to school sets off the fight or flight response in them. 

If the light bulb doesn’t work…just go to another room. No matter if it is inconvenient or not even a suitable solution to a problem – someone with Autism will always prefer the path of least change. Because what if they try to change the bulb and mess up? What if they break it? Changing a light bulb could be dangerous…what if they get hurt? Better to be safe than sorry.

Anxiety over choosing a new bulb from the dozens of different watts and styles available isn’t worth it…just buy a new version of the old lamp. Making decisions, whether it’s what to eat for lunch or what to wear to school can cause panic.  What if they choose something new from the deli counter and it tastes gross? 

While the examples I’ve shared may seem funny or ridiculous, for families raising a child with autism – they are often more fact than fiction.  On August 22, 2015, Action for Autism is hosting their 7th annual Family Fun Walk.  An organization that has supported our son’s academic and social growth by helping us send him to a special needs program each summer.  I shudder to think the regression Noah would have experienced without this support.  I realize there are lots of wonderful charities to donate your time and money to, but if you can and feel led to – please give to Action for Autism. I'm looking for 20 family and friends to donate $10.

To donate visit Action for Autism Family Fun Walk  then type FELGENHAUER in the comments section of the form. Or, email me privately to make arrangements.

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