What is fear?
We all have fears.
Things we are scared of.
Things we avoid.
What if we don’t recognise it as a fear?
What if we have difficulties with knowing what emotion we are feeling?
When behaviours are caused by something you are scared of.
When behaviours get worse because you don’t know how to tell people you are scared.
Because you don’t know you are scared.
What if the principle emotion you feel is fear….
….and you have no idea what it is, or how to express it.
I imagine this is what it is like to have Autism.
Fear is the foundation on which anxiety is built.
Anxiety is the hardest thing about Autism to deal with.
To tackle the anxiety, you need to reduce the fear.
To reduce the fear you need to explain what you are scared of.
If you cannot communicate your fears, anxiety increases.
A huge, vicious circle is created.
The world is a scary, unpredictable place to be if you have Autism.
A place you fear.
A place where no one sees that you are scared.
Your behaviours don’t look like fear, they are overlooked.
A place where your fears are different, unexpected, misinterpreted.
A place where your fears feed your anxieties.
A place it all gets too much.
That vicious circle.
Fear is a natural survival response to things that are painful, confusing, unpredictable or unbearable.
Fear is an enormous factor in the world of Autism.
I remind myself of this daily.
To keep me calm and help me get through.
When everything is wrong;
When I don’t get things right, when I am witnessing a meltdown, when I am subject to a violent outburst, when I feel like a failure.
It is a natural reaction.
A reaction that is telling my child that they are in danger.
When the situation is all too real for them.
When they are trying to keep themself safe.
….when they are looking at me to help them.
Fighting fears is something that a child on the spectrum does everyday.
Their courage, strength and determination wins eventually.
Bit by bit. Slowly. Very slowly.
I look at my child and I feel proud of the obstacles they overcome.
The fights they have daily.
Some won, some lost.
I see courage.
I see brave.
I see Autism.
My child will always battle with fears,
In an unpredictable world that is something that is certain.