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“What Does Autism Look Like? It Looks Like Blake”

Courtesy of Kelly Emsley

What does autism look like to me? It looks like Blake, who at 18 months could name every character on Thomas the Train, and give you a full paragraph on each and every character.

What does autism look like to me? It looks like Blake, who at two-and-a-half years old picked out a book at Walmart and on the way home read the entire book, front to back, making me pull over to see if he said it right. 

What does autism look like to me? It looks like Blake, who cannot go into a grocery store without knowing each and every item we need or he will have a panic attack. (Please, when shopping with Blake, do not throw an extra loaf of bread in the cart, or you will be doomed!) 

What does autism look like to me? It looks like Blake, who used a binky until he was 7 because it soothed him.      

What does autism look like to me? It looks like Blake, who went to five schools in two years. At age 7 he said he could not stand the bullying from the other kids and wanted to die.

What does Autism look like to me? It looks like Blake, who now raises money to help other children with ASD, and donates yearly to the local Children’s Hospital and Autism Speaks.

What does Autism look like to me? It looks like Blake, who this year held a beetle for the first time with 30 "normal" classmates rooting him on, after not going outside to play for five years because he was deathly afraid of bugs.

I am often told that Blake does not “look” like he has autism. I say there is no one "look” of autism, only many.

By Kelly Emsley, mom of Blake, 9

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