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Our latest blog has been written by Sophie, who is one of our Assistant Psychologists who works within our Adult Service provision. Sophie has written this Autism Awareness Week Blog, to answer the question, what does autistic look like?

‘You don’t look autistic’ is a statement I’ve heard many times, but what does ‘autistic’ look like? It’s something different for everyone.

For me, autism looks like buying Cosmopolitan and New Scientist magazine in the same purchase. It means loving science and still being fascinated by people. It looks like being able to concentrate on something I find interesting for hours and hours at a time, but having a meltdown because my car mirrors have been moved out of place and I can’t think of anything else. It looks like loving colours, glitter and all things neon but hating too many bright lights. It looks like loving live music but not being able to cope with the sound of the dishwasher being unloaded. It looks like loving socialising and not being able to stand small talk, so asking the big questions instead and getting some odd looks. It looks like loving travelling and seeing where life takes me, but also needing to know the exact next date I’ll see my loved ones. It looks like understanding the most complicated concepts and struggling with some of the most basic ones. For me, it looks complex and it doesn’t always make sense, but it doesn’t need to – it’s just the way things are.

This is just MY autism. It looks different for each individual and this is the important thing to remember – I live by the phrase ‘if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met ONE person with autism’ and I urge you to do the same. Autism can come with some absolutely wonderful advantages, but it can also cause great difficulty too and neither one of these things should be discounted.