I belong to an online autism support group with over 18,000 members. One common post I see often is about how a parent of a child on the spectrum was told, “Your child doesn’t look autistic.” This kind of comment is usually made in a rude way, as if the stander by thinks they are qualified to know the child better than the people who live with and care for them everyday. It’s hurtful to the parents who receive this remark. It’s akin to going up to someone and saying… oh I don’t know “You’re a doctor? You don’t look that smart!”
Today my group started posting pictures of their kids at home with the caption ‘What autism looks like at my house.’ It was refreshing to see all of the photos. Look here! This is my child! We parents of autism may not agree on everything. With 18,000+ members heads are bound to butt at times, but we can all agree on one thing: The faces of our autistic children are loved, beautiful and UNIQUE. There is no physical defining characteristic of an autistic person. You can not look at a person on the spectrum and know by their face, or body that they have autism.
With the permission of a few fellow members of the autism community I present you with an idea of what autism looks like.
Thank you to all who contributed to this post.