Autism is becoming more prevalent in today’s day and age. Yet there are still so many unknowns and so many people who do not understand autism. As a mother of a child with autism, here are 5 key things that I think everyone should know about autism.
1~ Not all children with autism are created equal.
Just as typically developing children can vary depending on their personality, genetics, and environment, the same holds true for children with autism. It is called a spectrum disorder because there are so many variances in each individual. Keep in mind that there are different categories under the autism umbrella (classic autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, high functioning autism and PDD-NOS) and each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. Each child with autism looks different.
2~ Autism can be treated, but there is not a cure. Please do not lump all parents into the same group as those that think their children can be cured. However, we will do everything we can that may possibly give some relief to our child. There are so many different things out there that can help some of the symptoms of autism. They will not cure autism, but they may help lessen the symptoms so that the child can be helped and they can learn coping skills.
3~ Not all children with autism are “brats” and not all “brats” have autism. Suppose you are at the mall and you see a child, approximately 8-10 years old throwing a fit. He is screaming, crying, and refusing to be reasoned with. What do you immediately think? Do you assume that the that kid is a downright brat and he just needs some consistent discipline and structure? Yes, I know that there are kids out there that will be in this scenario where they are just a downright brat. But keep in mind that meltdowns like that are common for a child with autism. Do not judge the parents of the child when you do not know the entire story. Things are not always as they appear.
4~ Parents of children with autism need to not be judged. Every day is a struggle. Every day is a battle. Every day has different obstacles to overcome. Keep in mind that children with autism often put their best behavior forward when they are around others and out in public. It takes everything in them to follow the social rules and to behave accordingly. Once they get home, where they feel safe and comfortable, their self-control often diminishes and their family receives the brunt of the release. Do not doubt a parent about how bad it can be because you may not always be privy to those behaviors.
5~ All families living with autism need help and support. Even those families that have a child with high functioning autism or Aspergers. Children with classic autism have obvious needs, while those with high functioning and AS have needs that you cannot always see. Every family who has a child with autism needs non-judgmental support and the occasional shoulder to cry on. Being the parent of a child with autism is tough, no matter what end of the spectrum they fall on.
Do you know a family affected by autism?
Are there any myths or ideas that you think other should know about autism?
Do you have any questions concerning autism or how to support a family coping with autism?
This post was brought to you from Missy over at Are you there God? It’s Me. I am a stay-at-home mom to a 6 year old, 4 year old and 1 year old. I am a homeschooling, cloth diapering momma, who discusses everything; parenting and motherhood, coupons and recipes, religion and spirituality, saving money, and autism. Through all of that, I am seeking to find God in the everyday moments of my life.