Sam Webster is an autistic comic book creator; his series Autism Anxiety gives insight into his experiences, thoughts and feelings of life on the autism spectrum. Like Sam, I’ve been […]
Sam Webster is an autistic comic book creator; his series Autism Anxiety gives insight into his experiences, thoughts and feelings of life on the autism spectrum. Like Sam, I’ve been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, so I find his comics incredibly relatable and reassuring.
Yesterday, I covered the first chapter of Sam’s series Autism Anxiety, which looked at the topic of masking behaviours in an effort to appear neurotypical. It’s something I’m very familiar with; it’s second nature to me, but does cause me to become very drained after even minor social interaction.
The second chapter looks at how change can be absolutely devastating to those of us on the autism spectrum. We thrive on routine and familiarity; if anything – even something that may seem minor or trivial to neurotypical people – threatens that, it can have devastating effects on those of us who have ASD.
Like Sam, my parents divorced when I was very young and the upheaval it caused – along with changing schools, which happened to me a few times – caused real problems for me in making new friends and adjusting to new routines. The effect of these changes really have led to long lasting issues for me in adulthood. Having not been diagnosed with ASD until I was 38, it wasn’t clear why I’d been so affected by change as a kid, but with hindsight it now seems obvious as to why I found many situations at home and school so stressful.
As with the first chapter, Sam’s style has a definite Manga influence and a very clear style that imparts information easily, with great impact. It’s another very brief chapter, but does help to shine a light on a subject that’s often mishandled by neurotypical writers and artists, who all too often equate ASD only with those at the more extreme end of the spectrum; those of us with less visible traits nonetheless struggle an awful lot without being listened to or, in some cases, believed. For that reason alone, I’d recommend checking out Sam’s series – it is great for showing the internal struggles that people with ASD go through on a constant basis, even with seemingly smaller scale changes to routine that feel an awful lot bigger to us.
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