He flapped

So far I am the only one in my family and extended family that has been diagnosed with autism. We sometimes speculate if a couple other family members have autism, but nothing has ever come of that. So basically… I’m all alone when it comes to trying to figure out what autism means and how to deal with it. I know my parents tried to learn about autism when I was younger so they could help me out more, but learning about it when you have autism is completely different than learning about it when you don’t.

When you learn about autism and don’t have it, you’re seeking understanding and perspective. When you’re learning about autism and do have it, you’re seeking to understand yourself, but you’re also seeking for validation. The quest to learn about autism isn’t just for understanding- it’s to figure out if you really are as alone as you feel.

I decided to learn about autism because I wanted to be proven wrong. I wanted to learn if I really was broken or if I am just different. And the more I have learned about autism, the more I have realized that I’m not as broken as I used to think I was. I’ve learned that autism isn’t something I should be ashamed of. I’ve learned that autism makes me different- not less.

One of my biggest questions since starting this journey of learning about autism is how much of me is different because of autism. What are things that people with autism do that people without autism never do? Or is it simply that we do the same behavior only we vary on whether we do it longer or more often?

Anyway, the reason for this post is that I finally had some sort of answer to one of these questions. I have often wondered, do people without autism ever flap or ever want to flap? I still don’t know the answer to this question, but… the other day my nephew flapped.

It was only for a split second. But… he flapped…

And my heart stopped for that split second… not because I was worried that he could have autism, but because I was finally not so alone.

I don’t know what it means that he flapped. I don’t know if that means that it’s normal for little kids to flap or if that means he has a little bit of autism. But for now it just means that I’m not so broken.

10 thoughts on “He flapped

    • Sort of. It’s not whole arm movements though. It’s mostly just your hands and forearms moving really fast.
      And normal is a matter of perspective. But I think it mostly come down to standing out. If someone was flapping, they would definitely stand out. The question that seems to be raised more and more though is “is it really that bad to stand out?”
      But until that question is answered normal is anyone that fits in people’s little boxes.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on Serenity Spectrum and commented:
    This is a wonderful post, and something everyone should read.

    I REFUSE to stop Beth from flapping! Some people are bothered by it, and want me to teach her to act in a more “normal” fashion. NEVER! Flapping is her Happy, and I would never tell her that she does Happy wrong.

    I pray that Beth never feels alone or broken, because she is neither. Anne loves to be just like her big sister, and although she is considered neurotypical (if there is such a thing), she can flap almost as well as Beth. I beam with pride every time they show their Happy, because it is a beautiful thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Comments? I'd love to hear them!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s