In college, I worked as a Community Support Worker for a 12-year-old girl on the autism spectrum who had a funny obsession with mustaches. During the holiday season, we went to the mall wearing fake mustaches per her request, and while we stood in line waiting to meet Santa, a young boy in front of us kept turning around to stare at her mustache. To encourage social interaction, I finally said, “Why don’t you tell him about your mustache?” She looked him dead in the eye and said with a completely serious face, “It’s real,” then turned away. The boy looked very confused and did not know what to think of the small 12-year-old girl with a real mustache. I think someone felt a little au-kward!
Written by Grace Bourey, intern at The Autism Research Foundation