Ashley: creative, charismatic, artist and #Aspie

Potographer Michael Bromage
Potographer Michael Bromage

Autism Unveiled Week 1

Through my eyes only is a common term I’ve used often throughout my photography and writing. I use this mostly because it’s a way of saying you currently can’t or don’t see through my eyes, understand my world or to some degree even be in it.

The biggest thing in my world is misunderstanding and more often the inability to realize I’m different. I don’t show a physical damage or scar or infliction and have spent years masking the symptoms of being autistic to fit in or at the very least get by in life.

Also finding ways of conquering the infliction I do have!

Currently I’m speaking with mothers from all around who are coming to me as an adult aspie asking me what it’s like, looking for a different viewpoint and to better understand what is going on in their child’s head and also to help them help the child.

More often than not, the main statement I hear is,

“He/she keeps doing this…”, “throwing tantrum…” “being violent…” etc. and more often than not I’m explaining,

“STOP. First of all change the way of thinking, instead of going, GAH demon child, remember that the child is more than likely reacting to something in the environment. Is there a strong light source hurting their eyes? Is there a high pitch noise hurting their ears? Start looking at the things that are affecting them.”

Now realize, from me looking out, I’m smart enough to know that all of you have no clue what it’s like and can’t see or feel or hear the things I do, the way I do and that upset us at times. Knowing that it’s not something you can change or do anything about can be a lonely place.

It’s been said “I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world!” ~ one of my friends!

Realize that at that same time no two people are the same and the same rule applies with aspie; we all have different traits, it’s just we have enough in common that we can be “grouped” and to be honest it’s not always as taboo as you realize. For every aspie joke out there, is an aspie child giggling to himself as you ALL try not to laugh! ;P

If you ask an aspie about themselves or the condition then (me personally and a select few others) are usually happy to explain something to you, help guide you through how our mind works and by god help you if you happen to start talking about our “specific” topic that we love, it’s all downhill from there!

I often say to people, and even in one of my poems it states, “Give me your hand I’ll show you my world.”

And it’s exactly that. Take some time with me, go for a walk and let me explain what I’m seeing as an artist and how different it is. Make a little bit of effort to step out of your own shoes and see the world from our perspective.

Most of all, respect us and we’ll respect you!

eyephoto

My World!

by Ashley Smith

Where most feel love, I feel lust
with every pain is a piece
wrenched from the deepest, darkest parts of my soul
every teardrop is a story to be told
a smile earnt with care
and caress the touch of a delicate flower
feeling every grain that make’s it smooth
the smell so gentle,
knowing it’s essence to make it so right
so beautiful it take’s your breathe away
apologized too long for depth of field
yet never the less felt
once more willingly peace of mind,
clear of heart souls once scared,
others jealousy beholds fear so great
it shake’s the essence of the soul
and countless joy that cannot be told
heightened alas the gifts very curse
precious to hold,
fatal to touch
some may not see it’s worth
feel it’s hold or know it’s curse
yet why to turn my back so fast apologize
and feel hurt those who truly see my soul
will feel my pain and see the joy
ride along this journey
now for if you give me your hand
I’ll show you my world!

Ashley Smith, Caloundra, Queensland, Australia

Links to Ashley’s writings on autism and his facebook photography page.

Ashley is part of a six-week advocacy project Autism Unveiled Project commencing on April 2, 2015, World Autism Awareness Day

3 Comments

  • Ashley has many a good point. Patience, try to not quickly react if we are with someone that needs a smooth interaction. The worlds different lights, sounds and other stimuli, that she is affected by, an amplified set of multiple inputs overload the subject or action at hand.

    Good illustration of respect and resolution instead of the lack thereof.

  • Elle Pierman says:

    Ashley, I completely agree with your statement that people need to stop and change the way that they are thinking about people who are different from themselves. I think most people in this world could benefit from spending time with others that they classify as “different” – whatever that difference may be. I think a lot of your post really shows the importance of open-mindedness, and in this day and age, we all could use a lot more of that. Simply because one doesn’t understand what your world is like and what you experience each day does not mean one shouldn’t try to. Your poetry is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sonnet Hogue says:

    Ashley, first off looking at your photography and reading some of your writings really adds so much to the blog that you have written. I feel like your photographs really are invitations into your soul. You want people to look and feel what you are feeling and not do so in fear. Your reactions to parents seeking help has really made the biggest impact on me. I teach art and have many students that fall on the spectrum and now knowing to slow down and look for outside sources of aggravation first helps me be a better teacher. Knowing not to react with frustration but instead seek to find solutions instead will be a great tool in helping not only myself but also the other teachers of the school. Ashley you really can and have reached many people with your words and photos. I look forward to seeing and reading more.

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