Different is our normal

A while ago I wrote a post on Facebook about a lady staring at my autistic daughter in a supermarket.

She was really staring, with a look of confusion, and fear. This got me thinking about why people might stare, and why an autistic person may appear ‘different’, or even, ‘odd’. It got me thinking about why we need to educate and inform others about autism, and make them realise that it is part of everyday life, and not something to be feared. It got me thinking about the need for others to be more understanding and kind.

I used the word, “normal” in my post when referring to my daughter’s behaviours. This is because they are, “normal” to us. But not to others.

It’s not all about not being able to communicate.

Or not being able to socialise.

It’s about having a routine, that cannot be broken.

It’s about fearing change and spontaneity

It’s about sensory processing difficulties

It’s about auditory processing difficulties

It’s about poor fine and gross motor skills

It’s about crippling anxiety

It’s about so much more than what the outside world sees.

It’s about having amazing resilience

It’s about having bravery beyond belief

It’s about having an amazing memory

It’s about making huge steps, which may be tiny milestones to others

It’s about having the best sense of humour

It’s about being happy amidst it all

It’s about being yourself


I would not change my daughter.

But I would change the stares.

I would change the sniggers.

I would change the thoughtless comments.

I would change why life has to be so bloody hard for my daughter.

I would change ‘the system’.

I would change the constant battle of fighting for support and help for my daughter.

But I would never change you, Orla, my special girl.


This was kindly written for me by my friend Zoe as a guest post for my http://www.muminpractice.com blog. If you’d like to find out more about Autism then please visit the Autism UK website 

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