There is information and resources I wish I knew about years ago when I was confused and lost about what Autism was. Luckily there has been more studies conducted leading to an increasing amount of information on the internet and in books. My knowledge mainly comes from real life experiences, being childhood friends with the father of Jeremy (in the photo) along with a few other individuals who are parents or caregivers of children diagnosed with the same or similar disabilities.
Living life with a specific disorder not only life affects day to day living for the family. Let us think about how the actual human being living with it.
As the list of specific disorders is never ending. I’ll focus more on the Autism spectrum and touch on a few other disorders. Self educating myself on asperger’s syndrome for about 15 years now I still have much to learn. This is a given for us parents and educators who have one or more extraordinary individuals in our lives, either our own children, students even friends. I quote “we still have much to learn” due to the fact that we all grow from infants to children, young adolescents, adulthood and eventually Elderly or senior citizens. In all actuality we never stop learning about ourselves and others.No matter where they are on the autistic spectrum there are stages of life. It’s best to continue increasing our knowledge and assist as they grow in and out of these stages.
Autism spectrum disorders include social, communication, and behavioral challenges. These problems can be mild, severe, or somewhere in between. The types of autism are:
- Autistic disorder
- Asperger’s syndrome disorder
- Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
- Psychological disorders
- Sensory or sensory processing issues
- Reading early or high intelligence
- Narrowed interests
Before I ever heard of the Autistic spectrum disorder I only knew of a few disorders or what was considered an illness.
There was Down syndrome in which I have very little experience with this particular illness. What knew growing up was it was due to a genetic disorder. These individuals were similar in distinct facial features and have difficulties with their speech.
Mental retardation (MR) by the way Which was really troublesome for me to hear or say as a child. I felt it was insulting and just morally wrong in some way. I know now it’s pretty much caused by how I heard others use the term. Usually said as a “put down” used as loosely as the word stupid.
Another disorder I was aware of but knew very little about is Cerebral palsy. When reading on this I realized that it is similar to the autism spectrum. There is information about the co-occurrence with cerebral palsy and autism.
My thoughts on these various disorders is we should all educate ourselves and others on how to understand the importance of knowing what the symptoms, what type of diagnosis and how to help the one diagnosed. Second opinions are important when diagnosing someone with a lifelong disability. Most of all as parents do not blame yourself, do not put down you’re being a parent or even question your worth as a parent. If you stumbled across this blog or any other article searching for answers or help, let this be confirmation that you are worthy and meant to be a parent you’re the perfect parent for this perfect being. We live and learn. Keep up the good work.