Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 10:45 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 05:15 [IST]

Autism: Why fit in, when You are born to Stand Out?


Because What makes us Different also makes us Special

Ability to See World Differently

When you meet someone who’s little bit different than you, that might scare you or makes you feel uncomfortable & that’s okay. Because anything new is little difficult at first but once you learn more about it, you get used to it. Because then you have the knowledge & Knowledge helps you to understand & understanding makes it easy to Accept. All of us are different. No one is exactly the same. We all have our own talents, characteristics, strengths & challenges hence don’t address them as “Autistic kids” they are just born with Autism which is just one part of their amazing personality. Autism can mean a lot of different things. Some kids who have autism seem like a typical kid & it only impacts the way they act & communicate in certain situations. Sometimes, with some kids Autism impacts the way they act & communicate all the time & sometimes autism impacts kids so much that they might not be able to control their bodies or communicate by speaking.

No one knows for sure why kids have Autism. Scientists & doctors are working hard to figure it out. What we do know that autism affects the way the brain & body works. For kids who have Autism their sense, thought processes, communication & body movements happen differently. It causes them to experience the world in a very unique way. Autism isn’t a birth defect. It’s not a disease. It’s not contagious. Autism is just something that they are born with. It’s something they live with & they will have it for their whole life. Every kid is unique. Seeing the world in a unique way can be great. Historians believe that the famous Artists, Pablo Picasso & Michelangelo both had Autism. They created amazing works of art with the way they saw the, world & so our uniqueness makes us who we are. Autism it’s not a processing error, it’s different operating system.

Understanding Mental Processing and Autism

Everyone’s mind is like a computer; different operating systems and different programs, creating unique strengths and challenges. For an autistic mind, our program for social interaction doesn’t come with a standard upgrade like everyone else’s. It doesn’t just work as we gain experience; we need someone with an upgrade to create a manual just for us and teach us how to read it. We have the program, and we want to connect with others, we just don’t know how. Without this upgrade, every time we start, it takes too long to load the commands. All the movements, actions, sounds and images; every little thing that happens between people, it all races across the screen as a jumbled mess of foreign code. A secret language that everyone else seems to understand. Our social programming takes all our system’s energy just to try to decode, which means other programs freeze up; emotions, thoughts and how much our senses take in. Our system still receives everything from the world around us, but the programs to make sense of it all don’t have enough power to run. With social interaction taking up the processing, everything else lags behind. The system overheats, and we shut down to save ourselves, which is what we call a meltdown. Too much information and not enough energy to make sense of our world.

Empathy and Understanding

Educate Yourself: Learn about autism and the unique challenges individuals may face. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of their experiences.

Listen and Validate: Take the time to listen to kids/Adult with Autism and validate their experiences. Avoid dismissing their feelings or trying to "fix" them.

Practice Patience: Understand that everyone has different communication styles and may need more time to process information. Be patient and allow individuals to express themselves in their own way.

Use Clear Communication: Use clear and concise language when communicating. Avoid using figurative language or sarcasm, as it can be difficult for some individuals to interpret.

Celebrating Differences

Kids/Adults with Autism have unique strengths and abilities that should be celebrated.

Focus on Strengths: Identify and encourage the strengths and talents of autistic individuals. This can boost their self-esteem and provide opportunities for growth.

Promote Inclusion: Create inclusive spaces where everyone feels accepted and valued. Encourage participation and collaboration among individuals of all abilities.

Raise Awareness: Educate others about autism and promote acceptance by sharing stories and experiences. This can help dispel misconceptions and foster a more inclusive society.

A- Acceptance (Accept People for who they are)

U- Understand (understand through knowledge)

T- Time (give them time to do things at their own space)

I- Include & Invite

S- Special interests (kids with Autism enjoy talking about certain subjects, welcome their conversations

M- Memories (allow them to make memories with you in their own way)


(Dr Ashwini Anil Kumar Sirapanasetty is an Obstetrics & Gynaecologist Surgeon & senior Counsellor of Army Wives Welfare Association)

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi