August 30, 2005

10 Things Children With Autism Wish You Knew

Brett at 29 Marbles has posted a wonderful primer for the Neurotypical in understanding and being a blessing to the Autistic.

Go read it. Then read it again.

Many times when they first meet him, people don't know quite what to do with Chandler. They want to engage him and show him a little love, but you can tell that they are unsure of themselves. I think that really internalizing this can give people a little more confidence in appraching autistic individuals.

My favorite part:
It all comes down to three words: Patience. Patience. Patience.

Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the GIFTS autism has given me. I may not be good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed I don't lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates, or pass judgment on other people?

As hard as we work to help these little ones fit in and function the best they can in a world that they were really designed to work well in, we should try not to miss the exceptional things that they offer. They see things that we miss all the time.

It is like Chandler can see colors that I can't, and vice versa.


Always On Watch said...

I just stumbled onto your blog. My blog is a political one, so you might not be interested in what I do over there. Besides, technically I'm on vacation for several days, and I will actually be leaving tomorrow. I will have no Internet access on the trip.

I am, however, not just a political blogger. I am educator (used to be in the classroom, but now I teach groups of homeschoolers) and have taught for over 30 years. I have always had a great interest in learning differences (I no longer call those differences "learning disabilities"), though I am not certified in Special Ed. I have done my own research on thimerosal (sp?) and am convinced that the lead levels in vaccines have contributed to what some call "an epidemic of autism."

Over the last 5 years, I have seen great strides in one of my homeschool students who has Sensory Integration Disorder. In fact, except for a few peculiarities, now the average person would not know that this young man had once been pronounced by the public school system as "hopeless." I am presently his mentor as this young man enters his senior year.

I found the list to which you linked in this article an excellent source. I wish I had seen it years ago. It would have been so helpful!

I also note that you have listed The Curious Event of the Dog in the Nighttime on your blog. Isn't that a beautiful book? I've read it twice and have also listened to it on audio CD.

I'm rambling a bit here, but I just wanted you to know how much I like your site.

May God bless you as you work with Chandler. Never believe that the situation is hopeless. Finding the key to unlock is the solution, I believe. Besides, those with autism often possess special gifts, and I'm not just referring to the type of gift shown in the movie Rainman. Autism is much more complex, as I'm sure you already know.

You may email me if you wish, but at the moment you will receive an away-message as reply.

Thanks for reading my long message to you. I know that time is at a premium in your situation.

rndawn said...

I wanted to touch on the special gifts of autistic children. I always say to my family and friends that I could not have a more loving, nice, well-behaved child than Blake. Blake is a twin to his sister Madison. They are almost 5 in June. Madison is mildly autistic, asperger's. Madison has ADHD with her autism. However, I strongly see how gifted I am with these children. They are affectionate, loving, and Blake is especially well-behaved. Blake is moderately autistic; with few words. He lost most all of what he had. Does anyone ever discuss the use of terbutaline while pregnant and the prevelance of autism? I would like to hear from anyone who experienced this. Terbutaline is used as an off-label use to prevent pre-term labor. It is only FDA approved for asthma, and in 1997, the FDA stated the warning that pregnant women should not take terbutaline unless having a threatening asthma attack. I am a nurse and did not know this info and my OB doctor did not discuss any of this with me. I read from the that it causes irreversible brain damage and promotes vulnerability to future assaults such as thimerisol/immunizations. Please let me know if you know of anyone with this situation of terbutaline and autistic child or children.