Autism Awareness: Guest Post- Author Carol Oates

Autism Awareness Guest Post

During the Autism Awareness Giveaway Hop author Carol Oates took time in her busy writing scheduled to write out a guest post for the blog. Carol is the author of Shades of Atlantis.

Shades of Atlantis
Published: November 8th 2010
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Available: Amazon / Omnific Publishing 

Carol Oates:

I am a writer, always have been. In school I wrote short stories and created an entire universe with a friend revolving around two sisters and their band. Now I write books. Sometimes during a conversation my mind will drift and I’m told I get a faraway look in my eyes. This is when I’m creating. It happens all the time, but it’s more noticeable during interactions with other people. I live in my imagination a great deal of time.

So after my son was diagnosed with autism, I was deeply upset to hear children living with autism lack imagination. For the first time in my life and by a strange twist I faced something I couldn’t imagine. To not be able to delve into worlds outside our reality, to not sit down with toy figures and send them off on an adventure, it seemed so unfair to me. Here was my son, his life limited by this little understood disorder and he couldn’t even escape it into other worlds in his mind.

I needn’t have worried because my boy developed an incredible imagination. It stated slow with play. Lining toy cars up as was his routine and then one day the cars began to go to the toy garage for things like the car wash and to get their tank filled. Children with autism can become fixated on an object such as a spinning wheel but unable to see the object as a whole, as in the entire car. Taking the car to do anything other than roll along the ground takes imagination rather than creativity.

He moved on to writing as soon as he was able. Again it started with the repetition. He would copy endless lists of cars, buses and bikes. He moved on to soccer and wrote out team after team after team until the day he wanted to have his own team. He started on his own fantasy soccer league and invited my brothers and friends around to participate in it. Again this may seem creative, until he placed himself inside the pretence by naming himself a manager and taking part in the league from the inside. He recorded commentary on soccer games that never happened. This was the first real sign imagination was taking root. He wanted to take something and make it into something else, pretend it wasn’t as it was in reality and be in the middle of it to experience it as a whole rather than study parts from the outside.

Another big leap was his first lie. You see, some would say people with autism are always literal. They see the world in stark contrast of black and white with no gray areas. Things are as they are and there is no pretending otherwise. So for my son to come out with a blatant lie as he did, something completely at odds with reality as he saw it took imagination. I was very happy. Since then he has come on in leaps and bounds. He writes music and has constructed a universe called Imagination Land. In Imagination land he is a rock star who writes his own music, a playwright, a director of blockbuster movies and the CEO of Little Boy productions. We have hundreds of notebooks filled with his stories and plans for virtual games, tournaments and concerts. He performs in the back garden to a crowd that isn’t there and presented me with an award from a ceremony in Imagination land that I was unable to attend because I was busy working. He accepted on my behalf. His next big plan is to write a novel, he wants to self-publish. He’s 15-years-old and attends a special school for children with autism and behavioral disorders, and I struggle to keep up with his imagination.>


  1. Excellent information Carol and example of something most would take at face value of a "can't do." I wonder, has there been research behind how to get through, or anything in particular you worked with to help him develop? I work with public schools and it seems more often than not, autism is very misunderstood in the schools by the average teacher/student.

  2. I believe research would be easier if ASD had the same effect on every person, but it doesn't. To really connect it can be a matter of finding a catalyst. For my son, writing was it. He wanted to write but copying something that was there already wasn't enough to hold his attention. He wanted his own stories and so was forced into creating them.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I know a few people whose lives are affected by this and its great to hear and read about positive outcomes. Im glad he found something that works so great for him.

  4. I loved reading about your son and a "happy" story about autism. I know they struggle with so many things, but I also don't think we should tell them what they can't do. No one knows what someone else can do until they try. How wodnerful that he is in a creative home where you can recognize his progress.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...