The Power of Autism is a book that gives a new and positive vision about autism. The author does not see autism as a disorder, but as a constitution that can develop as a disorder, but can also develop as a strength. Much recognition and gratitude has been shown for this vision in the autism community. In this book she divides the typical behavioral characteristics of autism into the three fundamental pillars of feeling, being and thinking (see opposite).
"During my deep explorative journey into autism I could tap into the places in which assumptions were being made that weren’t true. It is a characteristic of my highly detailed brain that has been focused from a very young age on discrepancy between reality and thoughts and/or language. I started looking for fundamental characteristics that all people with autism have in common. And they aren’t behavioural traits, but constitutional traits.
characteristics, are the result of an autistic constitution that hasn’t been able to deal with the society."
"Autism isn’t an illness that you can cure, but a fundamentally different constitution with positive qualities"
A characteristic of autism is, amongst others, the hypersensitivity. This doesn’t just show in the sensitivity of senses, but also in the coping behaviour that is necessary when overstimulated, like the stimming, shutting down and anger attacks. In the positive sense, this sensitivity is a very advanced navigating tool that we do not want to flatten, but want to use.
- The lack of an I-reference
The absence of a point of reference of ‘I’ is caused by the limitations in the imagination and capacity to empathize. The future and the ‘over there’ is only imaginable with a point of reference of ‘I’. On the other side this is also the reason of the pureness, honesty, the underlying respect for how others live their lives and the sobriety about the emotional issues that we see in autistic people.
- Thinking in terms of natural laws
This is the logic from which people with autism explore the world. This is the reason why problems arise in the understanding of mixed messages, proverbs, sarcasm but also (certain) social expectations. Also specific interests originate here. This brain is ‘designed’ in a more detailed than organized way and considers everything according to a certain kind of logic (the law of nature versus rules). The need for rules, but also the resistance to rules, becomes very logical here. This pillar offers handles for a different, more autistic-logical guidance that remains better aligned with itself.
Vera Reflects #22: HSP, autism and physical sensitivity
In this episode Vera addresses the physical sensitivity to autism and HSP. She explains why it occurs and what you can do to deal with it.
Tedx Talk – February 2020
In her TEDxBreda Talk Vera speaks about a more positive understanding of autism. She believes that many autistic people unnecessary suffer from the believe there is something wrong with them. And so many people around them are in despair of their incomprehension about it. Yet it is so simple. Vera feels the urge to …
Autism and the lack of an I-reference point
When I get on stage I consciously take time to really connect with the people in the room. That helps me to come up with words that are aligned with everyone in the room. It also helps me to establish myself in the new atmosphere. I need this because of my hypersensitivity. I believe you …
About sensitive senses #autism
I accidently came across the picture above on shutterstock. My first reaction was: ‘that’s gross!’, followed by a shiver. A normal reaction for someone with autism. In our household we don’t use aftershaves, parfumes or deodorants. Fortunately everyone in our household thinks this is gross. So body odours smell better? Yes! Unless someone has stuffed …
What I really appreciate about autism, amongst other things, are the specific interests of people with autism. As a mother of several autistic children I can tell you from experience that this is already visible from a very young age…., however it can take different forms throughout the years. It will actually take a different …
Autism and learning through experience
Have you ever noticed that your autistic child doesn’t care about your ‘if-then’ arguments and just continues with whatever he/she was doing after a warning? Of have you ever noticed that as an autistic person, you want to experience everything yourself, before you can imagine it? This is because of the absence of a reference …