via Hollie Bellew-Shaw / Facebook

For those of us who are not on the spectrum, it can be hard to perceive the world through the senses of someone with autism.

"You could think of a person with autism as having an imbalanced set of senses," Stephen Shore, assistant professor in the School of Education at Adelphi University, told Web MD.

"Some senses may be turned up too high and some turned down too low. As a result, the data that comes in tends to be distorted, and it's very hard to perceive a person's environment accurately," Shore continued.

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When Lori Gabriel boarded a United Airlines flight from San Diego to Houston with her partner and his 4-year-old son, Braysen, she didn't expect the scene that was about to unfold.

Braysen, who is autistic, usually loves to fly. But shortly before takeoff, he wanted to take off his seatbelt and sit on the floor.

"It was impossible to restrain him," Gabriel told CNN. "He was fighting both me and his father. It took the both of us to try to get him back to his chair and get his seat belt back on. He started kicking, screaming and hitting."

"That's when a flight attendant came over and told us the flight couldn't take off until he's seated," she said. "I told her the boy has autism, we're trying, give us a minute."

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Anyone who has been to a Disney park has to admit that there's something to the whole "Disney magic" thing.

Usually, that feeling has something to do with the pristine, clean perfection of the place or the child-like wonder in the faces of everyone around you. But for the one family, Disney magic took on a whole new meaning this week.

Lauren Bergner told TODAY Parents that she and her husband had spent months preparing their 6-year-old son, Brody, for a trip to Walt Disney World. Brody has autism and is non-verbal, and he sometimes has a hard time with noise and crowds.

The family had gone from ride to ride on Sunday and Brody was hot and tired. By the time they got through the line to meet Snow White, he was in full meltdown mode.

It could have gone badly and they could have thrown in the towel, but Snow White somehow knew just what to do to make Brody comfortable.

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The way society understands autistic people is changing.

According to new research, not only have perceptions of autism changed — millennials are helping to normalize it.

Hasan Zafer Elcik, CEO and co-founder of Otsimo, an app that helps autistic children develop social and cognitive skills, is thrilled about the shift. When his younger brother was diagnosed, Elcik quickly realized there was no adequate access to treatment, therapy, or other resources for his growth and development, which led Elcik to explore how society understands autism and what influences that understanding.

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