Autism is different for everyone. The sights, the sounds, the sensations, the set-offs.
The National Autistic Society has tried to capture what it can feel like through the eyes of a child with autism in a one-minute video.
We warn you – this video is quite stimulating and uncomfortable. Many won’t be able to make it to the end. Can you?
Inside the mind of a child with autism
The video depicts what it feels like for a little boy with autism to walk through a shopping centre with his mum. This seemingly normal activity proves to be anything but normal when seen through the eyes of an autistic child. It goes a long way to providing a little extra consideration and understanding for those with autism who struggle with what we see as easy everyday activities.
Autism video aims to help us understand
As the video shows, the world is an entirely different place in the mind of a little boy with autism. Things that we wouldn’t even think twice about can be a cause of sensory overload, stress, anxiety and fear.
Sounds of the doors opening, footsteps on the tiled floors, a child’s ride-on toy, bags crinkling, coins dropping, someone slurping from a straw, it can be too much.
It’s not just the sounds. A strange image on a jumper, the flickering lights on a row of television sets, the smell of perfume being sprayed in the air.
Inside this little boy’s mind, it’s all too much. But to the people in the shops, watching this little boy become overwhelmed, it simply looks like a child acting out, trying to run away from his mother.
It’s hard to watch, isn’t it?
Understanding autism and ASD
Of course, this video isn’t going to accurately show how every child experiences autism. After all, there are so many different levels of autism and autistic individuals who experience sensory overload differently. There are also many different coping mechanisms that can help children who are having a hard time processing what is going on.
But it does give us a bit of an idea. Hopefully, it also helps us realise that a child with autism isn’t being ‘naughty’ or ‘acting out’.
World Autism Day
Why did we choose to share this video today? Simple. Today is World Autism Day, a day to raise awareness about people with autistic spectrum disorders including autism and Asperger syndrome. However, one day is not enough. We all need to take the time to understand what autism is and how it not only feels for a child with autism but for the other family members as well.
How we can support them, how we understand, how we can offer our empathy, how we can educate our own children – these are the things we need to reflect on.
The National Autistic Society has a number of videos designed to help us understand autism and ASD which are definitely worth checking out.
Autism support for South Australian families
If you are in South Australia, you may also be interested in Kudos Services, a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in therapeutic supports focused on children (7 years and up).
This includes autism and ASD but Kudos Services also offers support for children and young people with developmental delays and/or physical disabilities. They offer support with OT, speech therapy, behaviour support, among other specialist services.