Thursday, April 02, 2015

Awareness

On this Autism Awareness Day, I found an article by a woman who has three autistic children and a very definite opinion. I posted this article, commented on it and some great discussion took place; I wish to share all of that with you here:

First, the article. Click here to access the article.

My post introducing the article read:

I came across this article - I thought it was worth sharing. Without being any kind of expert on this subject, perhaps for me it at least gives depth to Autism being referred to as a spectrum disorder. For me, I don't believe the purpose of Awareness is to celebrate Autism, but to celebrate the lives of the people who are Autistic; to recognize them as equals among us, as our brothers and sisters and children, to love and cherish them. I don't, I can't minimize the perspective of the author, it's not like she is speaking from a place of naivety. I know that I felt deep emotion reading her article and I suspect that there are many who do not realize just how far that spectrum spans. I am deeply moved....had to share this. - Chris

The conversation:

DJ to MV - what's your take on this, my friend? ...and because autism is a spectrum disorder, we should refer to those blue bouncy balls, as I like to call them, as people living with autism -- they are not autistic. I strongly believe that Autism Awareness month is not to celebrate those living with autism, but to create awareness.

MP - I'm not so sure it's so much "celebrated" as it is to draw awareness. I think life is all about so many things. & one of those things is to continue to educate ourselves, about everything. The more u know the more u can understand, relate, & help.

MD - Awareness and education on autism is so very important. There are too many misconceptions about children with autism- and the spectrum is so wide. I've taught children that are non-verbal and children integrated into a general education class. Understanding them is key - sometimes the littlest accommodation can change a kids life for the better. For example, I knew a student that couldn't focus and would constantly get up and touch the windows- to which his teacher would respond with a "sit down" This went on until it was realized that the crooked shade was something he could not handle and was making him unable to function. Once it was fixed everything changed... I know I'm rambling but it's a subject close to my heart.

ME -  MD, thank you for sharing this, it's important to me, that is why I posted this - it's all well and good to post pictures and quotes but it is through discussions like these (thanks also to DJ and MP for chining in) that people learn and we can continue to educate people and grow awareness.

MD -  Absolutely-also, these kids/adults have so much to offer.

DJ -  A dear friend of mine -- her son is on the spectrum. "A" will soon be 8 yrs. old and is non-verbal and very aggressive. I have come to understand that his aggression is mostly due to his attempt to communicate with the world around him and becoming frustrated when others do not comprehend anything he says. "A" enjoys all gizmos and gadgets. I communicate with him via FaceTime often. He doesn't express feelings but I know his true feelings for me. His facial expression is everything. There are other kids that are very verbal but keep to themselves. They are very polite but approach strangers with caution. These kids have managed to understand their trigger points and how to cope overwhelming situations. I also think that parents need to learn to embrace the diagnosis with care and they need to see the world a bit differently. Sure, it can be difficult. But, strength, determination, and perseverance is what it takes. I'm happy to say that my kids and I will be participating in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks in a few weeks -- year number five for us. It melts my heart to see my own children cheer alongside me and join me as we walk to find the missing puzzle piece. Light it up Blue!

DB - Great article.

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