Friday, July 31, 2009

Exploring Myths of Autism and A Little Something Extra

One of the interesting Myths of Autism is that people with autism do not form personal relationships. I personally know this is a myth because of my own children. Having a daughter with autism and a daughter with Aspergers I can say that my children interact with me and their siblings. The also interact with friends and people in the community.
They have attached to me and the rest of the family. It is just different.

I always wonder how these myths get started. Possibly it is from the early belief by professionals that the reason our children have autism was because the mothers were what was called “refrigerator mothers.” I wonder how many mothers had trouble attaching to their children after that. Well anyway, professionals now agree that the mothers are not the problem

Quite possibly the reason this myth persists lies with our children. My typical children do not necessarily like to be around people they do not know, especially if they are around those people in a strange place. I am not sure why we expect children who might have a disability to be friendly. Just because our children ignore people they know does not mean they can not attach. Even when in the presence of someone they know they might not seem to be interested if there are other things going on.

Children and adults with autism have their own special way of worming their way into your heart. Sometimes that is good and sometimes that is difficult. When you have a self abusive child is one of the difficult times. It is sweet anyway.

Spending time a quantity of time with a person with autism and paying attention, really paying attention starts to give you the input necessary to be together in a meaningful way. It is just different. Different than anything some people have ever experienced. Raising children with autism has taught me to listen, really listen. That is a gift I would never want to trade.

A Little Something Extra

It was hard for me to let my then child with autism learn to sign. I wanted her to speak. But she learned to talk even with signs. It might be hard to let your child use a ‘talker’ of some type but communication on what ever level is so important.

During my research one of the things I have learned from people with autism is the benefits and the pure joy of being able to communicate. People with autism have mentioned that they did not want to learn to communicate in the beginning. They also say it is one of the most wonderful skills for building relationships.

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