Saturday, October 6, 2007

Story ideas-signs, positive, awareness

I am a mother of 3 boys who each have autism, 6-yr-old twins and a 2 1/2-yr-old. In addition to the fact that everyone with autism is a unique individual, a few things I think have not been addressed by the media, or could be addressed more are:

1 - pretty much all the cases I see in the media involve regression; it would be nice to see some coverage of children who were born with autism. More and more studies are being done on signs to look for in infancy and early childhood, those should be better publicized so people know what to look for from an early age.

2 - although there are obviously challenges that go with raising children with autism, there are positives too. Our children are blessings and they don't have to be savants to have some amazing qualities. It would be great to see coverage that focuses on their talents and positive attributes. For example, I know from my own kids but have heard this from others also, they don't judge people and are accepting of everyone (ironic since not everyone is so accepting of them).

3 - I'll echo the thoughts of others that one thing we would definitely like to see is for the public to be more educated on what behaviors they might encounter and not to judge the child or parents but be understanding and considerate instead. I've learned to tune out the responses of others when my children are having a meltdown in public (thankfully much less often now than used to be the case) but it certainly doesn't help the situation when people stare, give dirty looks, make rude comments, laugh at us, or try to intervene (however well-intentioned those may be). And no, we are not going to stop taking our kids out in public, how else are they going to learn how to handle being out and about?

4 - coverage on awareness from the standpoint of teaching kids to be accepting and kind to others ... a lot of kids with autism want to make friends but don't know how to go about it and their "quirky" behaviors can make it difficult for them to interact with other kids.

5 - please, please, please help to dispel the myth that people with autism are not loving / affectionate. That is just flat out not true. They may show their feelings in different ways, but they do have feelings just like everyone else, and for people to believe otherwise is harmful to those with autism.

With 1 in 150 being diagnosed on the spectrum, one way or another the world is going to have to learn to adapt to our children (and the adults who are now paving the way) and not just expect those with autism to do all the adapting to fit in to the world.


Mom to Dominik, Dawson, and Wyatt
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1 comment:

KOMUAReynolds said...

Where are you from? Please email me.