Understanding the Autism Spectrum: A Diverse World of Minds

Athena
4 min readOct 23, 2023

Autism, often referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex and multifaceted neurological condition that has been the subject of much discussion and research in recent years. It encompasses a wide range of experiences, abilities, and challenges, making it a truly diverse and unique way of thinking and being. While the spectrum represents a different way of thinking for many, it can also pose significant challenges for some individuals.

This discussion came up with my youngest who is on the spectrum recently after discussing the puzzle piece vs the infinity symbol. All of that coming about from a librarian being fired because of using the infinity symbol in rainbow colors….. Someone mistook the symbol as a support for LGBTQ (which that person’s warped sense of right and wrong isn’t really this discussion though). I’ve always been fine with either symbol for me…. Many people do have strong feelings about one or the other. My youngest explained to me that it isn’t a rainbow it’s the spectrum on the infinity symbol. Something I’d never really thought about. To me the puzzle pieces don’t represent a missing piece, they represent how the whole world is a puzzle and the NT people are the things like grass, water, and trees that are all fairly similar and the ND people are the bright colorful other parts of the world.

I know there is also a controversy with Autism Speaks, but having friends whose kids are on the part of the spectrum that require much more help…. with kids that have a hard time even communicating their needs — I understand the desire to help the kids. It’s hard to be and interact with the part of the spectrum where ASD is a different way of thinking, but when at the part of the spectrum where a child will never be able to live independently it’s a little easier to understand the desire of some to find a solution to make life easier for them.

I remember as a child my parents refusal to even go out to eat, openly blaming me anytime it came up…. I vowed to never do that to my kids and hopefully they never felt I did. All in all though it is called a spectrum because that’s what it is.

The Spectrum of Autism:

Autism is often depicted as a spectrum because it covers a broad range of characteristics, abilities, and challenges that individuals may experience. At one end of the spectrum, you have individuals who may be highly independent, excel in certain…

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Athena

Mom of three boys. Computer programmer living in the country with my husband focusing on my hobbies and youngest son. https://ko-fi.com/athenaandrew