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From the Joann James Perspective Blog

Other than what I saw in the film Rain Man, I did not know much about autism until I met a friend with an autistic son.  He didn’t talk until he was 4, or potty train until he was 6.  He couldn’t stand to be touched, and he would act out and shout if there were too many people around.  Things had to happen in a very specific way for him to stay calm.

My nephew has a very mild case of autism.  By the time he was born the general public was more aware of such conditions.  He also had the benefit of a psychiatrist who helped him through some communication difficulties, such as having words get stuck in his mind but not being able to get them out of his mouth, and with not wanting to make eye contact.  (She taught him to look at the space between a person’s eyebrows, and it works!)

Whether formally diagnosed with some type of autism or not, we can all identify with a few of the characteristics, such as feeling overwhelmed, wanting to crawl into a smaller space to feel calm, or wanting to explore the texture of things with our hands.  All kids seem to like forts and tree houses, playing in sand and finger painting, or watching and acting out pantomime, whether we are on the autism spectrum or not.

The more we understand about the variations – and similarities – of the human brain, the better we can live and learn together.

Always remember to play!


  • Testimonials

    Best meeting all year, hands down – you inspired me to make our park meetings much better just by infusing enthusiasm!

    Look forward to working with you in the future – hopefully we will be making some really cool improvements here at Great Parks.

    Thanks, Carolyn P.

    Great Parks of Hamilton County