Autism Superpowers

When Luke was first learning to understand his autism (and his, brother’s) he came up with his own explanation of how it worked. We explained to him that everyone had sensory issues, or had something they were afraid of or something that bothered them. He decided that everyone had autism, except that some people had a little, some people had a medium amount and some people had A LOT. When we discussed autism we tried to make it as positive as possible, choosing to focus on the fact that while he was sometimes anxious and sometimes had trouble controlling his OCD, he was also very determined and confident. When we discussed sensory issues, we tried to explain that it was like having very acute hearing, or a powerful sense of smell. He thought about it for a moment and stated, “Oh. You mean like superpowers? Yeah, I have them.”

Luke explains autism through super powers. Ian has lightning fast speed, amazing athletic skills and the ability to leap a building in a single bound (ok, a one-story-garage and he used the drain pipe, but STILL). Luke has super hearing and super fast brain and super computer skills (he comes up with this on his own, honest). My super power must be the ability to maintain the status quo for ten years on little-to-no sleep (not that I’m bitter or anything) and the ability to relate better to dogs than humans.

The point is this: Luke gets it. He gets autism. He understands his abilities and challenges. He understands his brother’s. But best of all? He accepts them. He is aware of them. And he is aware of other people’s.

All this time I was worried about the tree climbing, building climbing, fence climbing and instead I should have been proud that we have our very own Spiderman, right here in my eight-year-old. He may be nonverbal but his super acute hearing means he understands EVERYTHING and misses NOTHING. He may stim a lot with his hands but his tree frog-like fingers can suction cup to anything as he hoists himself over a fence or wall in one swift movement.

Nothing to worry about. I’m just Supermom, raising my own superheroes. You’ll all thank me in a few years when they bring down all the bad guys. Just sayin’.

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