In our house, autism looks like a little girl, with brown eyes and long hair.
It looks like long sleeves, even on the hottest of days.
It looks like milk, warm and in a baby’s bottle, first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.
It looks like chocolate hoops for breakfast, eggy bread and crisps for lunch and maybe even again for tea.
It looks like the same Peppa Pig story at bedtime every single night.
It looks like a tablet, never far from reach, and panic if the wifi signal is lost.
It looks like playing outdoors, even in the pouring rain – no – especially in the pouring rain!
It looks like jumping – on the trampoline, the sofa, the floor, in puddles.
It looks like a dummy, even though “only babies have dummies.”
It looks like knowing the alphabet, colours, shapes and counting really high, but not knowing the answer to “how old are you?”
It looks like eating sand and licking salty water off your fingers in the sea.
It looks like frustration, even meltdowns, as words are not understood, needs and wants not met.
It looks like utter fear and panic as sudden, loud noises come out of nowhere to assault over-sensitive ears.
It looks like anger and resentment as plans change at short notice.
It looks like disappointment as another activity is added to the ‘nope’ list.
It looks like elation as a new milestone is eventually reached.
It looks like sheer joy as a new food is tried, even if its proximity to the mouth is fleeting.
It looks like adoration as brother and sister play, laughing together.
It looks like long eyelashes, a beautiful smile, a cheeky giggle.
It looks like love.
This is our autism.