Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Autism Factor....

I was surfing the web and I came across a beautiful site with lots of helpful information for us mommies (and daddies) who are new to this whole Autism diagnosis and what to expect...this was one of the blog posts which I found a great read:

8 Things You Need to Know about Autism

Autism touches many lives, whether you are on the spectrum, or your child is on the spectrum, a family member or friend is on the spectrum…
The fact is that the prevalence of autism is on the rise. With more children being diagnose each year there is still such a lack of knowledge as to what autism really means.

1. It’s a “Spectrum” Disorder for a Reason
You will not find 2 people with a diagnosis of Autism the same. “If you have seen one child with autism…you have seen one child with autism”. Some children are very affectionate and others shy away from affection and touch. Some talk a lot, where others may not talk at all. Of course there are similarities across the spectrum but this by no way means that each person can fit the perfect therapy/intervention mould. Each child needs a customized programme to address their differences specific needs.

2. Empathise don’t Sympathise
You need to live autism to really understand the complexities this disorder brings with it. Yes there are some Autism Savants that can do remarkable things and are looked upon as genius; however everyday autism is not glamorous. Parents need as much support as they can get.

3. People do the Best They Can with What They Have.
Parents fight many personal and emotional demons when raising a child on the spectrum. Simply saying “Well, just do this and just do that” is easier said than done. It’s good to understand that each person always does their very best with what they know and what resources are available to them. Offer help before you offer judgement.

4. Autism has Strengths as well as Weaknesses
Far too many people focus on the negative aspects of autism and what that person/child cannot do. However there are many strengths of that person/child on the spectrum as well; and these must not be forgotten but instead celebrated and embraced. Whilst understanding their weaknesses can help guide us to know where to help their learning and development, there is always great value in using their strengths to improve on their weakness.

5. The World can be Scary
The world we live in is a very dynamic place. Situations change momentarily; there is unpredictability and we constantly have to adapt to these. Autism struggles with these adaptations, the unpredictable and being flexible. These skills can be learnt through specified programmes, however without dynamic intelligence the world is overwhelming and scary.

6. Co-occurring conditions is not Autism
Along with autism often come many other conditions that people have to struggle through. These co-occurring conditions can be: ADHD, seizures, developmental delays, sensory processing disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, apraxia etc.

7. Words still have Meaning
Just because someone has autism doesn’t mean they can’t hear, so be sensitive to what you say as you would with any other child. Also be sensitive to their interpretation of words. Often words are interpreted literally and these kids don’t have the ‘sarcasm meter’ we take for granted

8. Autism is not Contagious
You cannot catch autism, so allowing your child a play date with a child on the spectrum will not put your child at risk of developing autism. Learning to accept and include children on the spectrum will not only benefit that child, but will also open hearts of the other children to those who see the world a little different.

This is taken from http://theautismfactor.com/ There is a lot of great information for those whose children are on the Autism spectrum.

2 comments:

Writer Lady said...

I have little contact with autism, and I sympathize with what the parents go through. Good luck to you.

Tim said...

Great post Michele. Very informative. Diet can also greatly influence the severity of the disease. Eating the proper things and not eating certain things can help greatly.

Sorry its been so long since Ive been around. Kinda took a blogging hiatus, and now that I have been around a little, I see that many of my friends did the same. Nice to see you are still going strong.

ALL my love to the family.

Love and Prayers,

Tim