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Recognizing How Autistic Children Express Love

Image © Farid Iqbal Ibrahim | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: The fingers of two silhouetted hands forming a heart shape.] Ann Memmott annsautism.blogspot.com I want to talk about how autistic children might express love for their parents or carers.  A well known book about ‘five love languages‘ says that these languages are: Words of affection. Doing things for someone Giving gifts Quality time together Physical touch It’s certainly true that there may be a good few autistic young people who express their love for their closest family using one or more of those. But there are other ‘languages of love’ in autistic communities: 1) “I love you, so I won’t cause you a brain event by overloading you with eye contact and other social/sensory stuff.“ But of course in the world of non-autistic people, this may be deemed rude, aloof, ‘in their own world.’  A misunderstanding. 2. “I love…

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Do You Want to Play?: A Children’s Book on Autistic Play Written by Autistics

[image: Cover of the book Do You Want to Play: Making Friends With an Autistic Kid. The background is purple on the top and white on the bottom. On the left is a large illustration of white kid with short curly red hair bedecked with a  blue bow, holding a yellow toy dump truck, and looking at the viewer.] Jess L. Cowing jesslcowing.com “Sometimes it’s nice just being beside you…” As publishers continue to release and market books that pathologize autistic kids such as Finding S.A.M. by Mary Bleckwehl, it is refreshing when a children’s book about autism includes an autistic character who is just an ordinary kid playing in the sandbox after school. So often depictions of autistic children for non-autistic people portray autistic kids as oddities and problems who must conform to neurotypical social norms in order to make friends and build community.  Written by Daniel Share-Strom with a…