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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

... love, love, love .....

Today is Valentine's Day and the topic, of course, is love.

drawn by Owen 2012

My youngest nephew is 4 years old ... a small person with large heart and great passion ... he recently asked me to marry him multiple times (to be fair, he also asked his mother and his brother to marry him, but I was honoured to be included in the select group). His love is bold and loud and unapologetic. I love that about him.

People on the autism spectrum also love in a big bold unapologetic way ... the expression of this love may be unorthodox, but the emotion is sincere and heart-felt. Because their emotions are often un-named, unprocessed and unexpressed, others can mistakenly assume that emotion is lacking. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

It is always interesting to me to see ASD individuals who have difficulty expressing their own emotions in everyday life (through words, facial expression, tone of voice) produce drawn stories showing clear emotional reaction and interaction between the characters. Here are some stories where love is the topic:

.... a romantic love story where a knight slays a dragon ...

by Adam 2001

... to win the hand of the fair princess in marriage ...

... or how about a story of the love between friends, sticking together through good times and bad? here's one of a series of stories about Mr. Bean and Teddy, drawn by my friend Kevin, where the two friends are swallowed by a whale ...

by Kevin 2012

... and don't forget the love and comfort that a "stuffy" toy provides in the middle of the night, even if you're a big fierce dragon ...

by Adam 2001

I will leave you with a final portrait of love ... the love between a son and his mom, drawn by my friend Adam when he was in elementary school:

by Adam 2001

.... I know her personally, and she actually is ...... Happy Valentines Day!!!