22 September 2017

The Birds, Asperger’s and Me

Parent to Parent is in the process of producing an Autism Spectrum Disorder resource booklet. This book will also exhibit wonderfully unique and beautiful artwork by people with autism and Asperger's. Bethany Hughes, 16, of Invercargill has kindly donated a painting which has been admired by everyone in our office. This is what Bethany has to say to describe her art.

By Bethany Hughes

Each of these birds is a symbol of a different positive trait I have found amongst the joys and tribulations of my own experience of Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Southern Cassowary: The cassowary is a solitary dweller often misunderstood for its intimidating appearance and a few reports of its aggressive behavior towards humans outside its territory. Although the Cassowary can sometimes find it difficult to control their anger at humans for changing things from the way they want to be, the bird is mostly quiet, enjoying its own personal space and doing what it wants to, rather than being pestered by the rules of others.

Red-throated hummingbird: The entire hummingbird family is the epitome of energy and vibrancy, bringing a plethora of bright colours to a world that is in dire need of vibrancy–much how like people with ASD share their influential, quirky, and innvovative ideas with the world to bring back its colours.

European bee-eater with the colours of a Scarlet Macaw: Bee-eaters are opportunistic, ingenious, and persistent little birds, stopping at nothing to achieve their goals, even when it may be downplayed as strange or overambitious by others. Scarlet Macaws ate explorers, curious and adventuresome birds who live their lives to the fullest amongst where they truly feel like they belong.

Northern Royal Albatross: Members of the albatross family are independent and self-centred, but not in an arrogant way. After it is old enough to fly, an albatross chick leaves its parents and soars on the warm thermals of the ocean for four years, experiencing and seeing a variety of weird and wonderful things all on their own. Albatrosses are inquisitive creatures. They would rather risk their lives to see what is beyond what they have already seen; than just fit in with the status quo and play it safe like everyone else.

New Caledonian Crow: This corvid is well known amongst  scientists through its ingenuity and sharp intellect, shown through experiments with tools, to solve problems by looking at them in a different light, which enables them to find hidden food most other birds wouldn’t be able to dig out themselves.

Common Sandpiper: The sandpiper is another solitary bird species, a gentle and quiet wader who prefers to keep to themselves rather than chatter with other birds.

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