Watch this 90 eye-opening seconds.
The more we all understand autism, the more people on the spectrum can feel OK about being themselves.
Too much information is right.
For many people with autism, overstimulation is their reality. Being over- or undersensitive when processing sensory information (like sights and smells) is common for people on the autism spectrum.So an everyday thing that many people might not even notice at the mall, like the spraying of a perfume bottle can be overwhelming for someone with autism. To Jo Wincup, whose 15-year-old son, Ben, has autism, this reality hits close to home.
“Four years ago, my son had a meltdown in a shopping center after becoming overloaded by the crowds, bright lights, and smells. He started kicking me, shouting, and swearing. We tried to get him outside to help him calm down, but the people [lining up] for buses just stared, some even said really hurtful things. This upset Ben even more. He ran off into the bushes and refused to come out. I just wanted to cry, for the ground to swallow us up.”
The National Autistic Society is hoping to give viewers a peek into this reality with a new and gripping PSA.
Seen through the eyes of a boy with autism, the video by the U.K.-based group takes viewers through a shopping center, allowing them to experience what living on the spectrum can feel like.After he’s overwhelmed by his surroundings and struggling with his mother (as onlookers gape at what appears to be a child acting out), the boy explains to viewers: “I’m not naughty, I’m autistic.”It’s important that we all understand what autism can feel like so that we can build a more empathetic world. Although a large majority of people have heard of autism, a very small number of people actually understand how living on the spectrum can affect behavior. Many kids aren’t necessarily naughty; they’re dealing with a condition most of us can’t experience firsthand.