Explaining “The Spectrum”

As difficult as it is to gain a clear understanding of the Autism Spectrum when you’re a parent, it’s even harder attempting to explain the term to friends and family. Sometimes it’s thought of as a linear scale. When my son is having one of his “good days”, people have remarked that he doesn’t seem “that” autistic.


Autism is really just a term that encompasses A LOT of different developmental challenges into a broad category. My favorite quote about ASD is from Dr. Stephen Shore, author of Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Meaning, there are so many different types of developmental delays, stims, behavioral and emotional challenges, as well as a multitudes of achievements, that quite literally every ASD diagnosis is completely unique to the individual.

Artist Rebecca Burgess created the perfect comic to illustrate the non-linear way of “Understanding the Spectrum.” In an email to The Mighty, Burgess said

“I want people to understand that autistic people don’t all fit a stereotype, and show people the consequences of stereotyping. [Stereotyping leads to] underestimating the skills of autistic people or not believing someone [who is on the spectrum].”

Check out the comic below…




Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s