The powerful post has been shared far and wide because of it's impactful message. Many people who do not understand Autism, or who have never tried to, have a new sense of empathy.
Throughout this very surreal moment in history change has been a huge trigger for people. Our regular everyday routine and rituals have been replaced by a completely new life that we do not recognise. We have had to re-shape family life and the way we experience our homes and the people in it. We've become teachers, employees that work from home and stay-at-home parents all in one. This change has lead to people feel insecure, anxious and scared. One mum is urging people to consider how this feeling can represent daily life for a person who is autistic.
My Boy Blue is a successful Instagram account that was set up by one doting mother. Nicole Duggan uses the page to chronicle daily life with six year old Riley who has Autism. Nicole is an autism advocate who wants to change opinions about Autism "one post at a time".
In a recent post Nicole shared a powerful photograph of six year old Riley. In the photograph Riley is holding a card which contains some powerful words. It reads
"All of the adults are freaking out because they don't like the sudden change in their routine.... Welcome to my life! #Autism "
The powerful post has been shared far and wide because of it's impactful message. Many people who do not understand Autism, or who have never tried to, have a new sense of empathy for children and adults who are on the spectrum. According to Nicole
"when we take a step back and look at the whole pandemic and how our lives have changed, in an instant, we as adults have realized we don't like it. We don't like the sudden change, the change in routine and the unknown of what is to come"
With the change and upheaval we are experiencing in our daily lives many of us are finding comfort and security in the fact that it is short-term. We are developing coping mechanisms, structures and new rituals to help us respond to life as gracefully as possible. We are in survival mode, reassuring ourselves that this level of fear and resistance will not last forever. Taking a moment to consider that this daily fear and unsettling feeling represents daily life for some people with Autism is both humbling and harrowing. Nicole is urging us to
"Now step in to the shoes of an autistic person, a person like my little boy, and this is everyday life for him. He deals with this all the time. And the unknown is something that causes him huge anxiety on a normal day"
Autism is a broad topic and with each individual diagnosis lies a very unique set of realities. However many parents will note that change or a disturbance to routine is a huge trigger for their child with Autism. For many parents predictability becomes security. A change in routine can have devastating consequences in so many different ways.
Nicole is using her platform to help people understand Autism a little bit better. Her hope is that this pandemic will make us all a little bit more compassionate and that we will not take things for granted anymore. In reality our lives will go back to normal and we will have a comfortable routine and life once again
"but this is everyday life for a huge community of people, adults and kids, where social distancing is a choice they make to avoid anxiety. Avoiding crowds and busy venues is the norm. It's to avoid an overload. Staying at home and only having a small circle is a way of life".