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autism spectrum disorder

Photo pulled from YouTube video

What kids with autism see.

Imagine everything you'd experience while strolling through a mall — the smells, the sights, the things to touch...

Now imagine all of those feelings and sensations times, like, a hundred.

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via Better to Be Different / Facebook

Natalie Fernando, 44, was walking down the seafront at Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England with her five-year-old son Rudy when he refused to turn around after she asked him. Rudy has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and it's common for people with it to have difficulty being redirected, especially if they are enjoying an activity.

"My son loves to walk, but he hates to turn around and walk back, we usually try to walk in a circuit to avoid this but on his favourite walk with the boats we have no choice but to turn back," Natalie wrote on her blog's Facebook page, "Better to Be Different."

This caused Rudy to lay down on the ground and throw a meltdown. Natalie apologized to passersby for his loud noises, but she still received judgemental stares.

It's common for Rudy's meltdowns to last for an hour or more and he can become very aggressive.

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via European Parliament / Flickr

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day where hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes, and communities around the world come together to light up blue in recognition of people with autism and those who love and support them.

It also kicks off World Autism Month, featuring 30 days of Autism-friendly events and educational activities to increase the understanding and acceptance of people with autism and inspire a kinder, more inclusive world.

About one in 59 children has autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Anyone who has experience with someone with autism knows the disorder is seriously misunderstood. So if there's one message we can share with the world this month, it's this: People with autism think differently.

Not better or worse, just differently.

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Libby Scott's mom Kym said her 10-year-old daughter "hardly ever" would chose to read or write.

Libby has autism, and her mom said part of the symptoms include rarely reading or writing.

Photo courtesy Kym Scott.

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