Sharing her thoughts and experiences of dealing with an autistic son, a mother admits that she didn’t have much knowledge about autism until the speech therapist suggested that her son exhibited signs of the disorder. Earlier, not many had even heard about the condition called autism. Now, the situation has changed and people are more aware about the condition. She says that she intends to write more about autism to give people a better understanding about it.
A majority of people considers autistic people as mentally retarded. However, autism is not a disease but a condition of the human brain. Mothers often feel sad when others stare at their autistic kids or ask unpleasant questions about them. They are equally pained when they see other kids avoid their children or parents forbid their kids from befriending them. Meanwhile, it is quite natural that people take notice of those who behave in a unique manner, with curiosity or fear. They react so because they lack proper awareness about autism and also about the children diagnosed with this condition.
Parents of autistic children consider it their responsibility to spread more awareness about it. However, in order to do that these parents should have a clear idea about how to handle this condition. They should be able to find out the hidden talents in their autistic kids. Besides, they must train their kids to be self-sufficient and independent and also grow up by learning and playing at schools just like the ordinary children. There are many autism clubs and centers which instruct and train the needy parents.
Dr C P Aboobacker is an autism specialist who regularly conducts training sessions for parents. He has even formed an autism club with the help of a few parents.
A difference in the pattern of neuron connections could be observed in the brains of those who are diagnosed with autism. The neuron connections would be more in some parts of the brain while it would be less in other parts. The part of the brain where the neuron connections are strong would function well, while the other parts don’t. So, the kids diagnosed with autism would be excellent in doing certain things while struggle to do some others. No one would die or become bed ridden because of autism.
As autism is not a disease, there aren’t any medicines that would completely cure this condition. Fake doctors try to cheat money out of parents by exploiting their emotional state. So parents of autistic children should stay away from such fake doctors or practitioners who promise to ‘cure’ their children completely.
Each autistic kid is different from the other. It takes time for the parents to clearly understand the kids and their needs. They would slowly realize the meaning of the kids’ various actions and reactions. These kids hardly display envy and are extremely innocent and loving. Most of the autistic kids have sensory problems. Some may shut their ears tight as they get disturbed by certain sounds. Many expressions and actions of them, which the society often finds difficult to accept is, in fact, their way of dealing with the sensory problems. The society mistakes it as behavioral issues. It would be easier to deal with autistic kids if the parents try to understand them better and react positively.
Parents should also create a favorable environment for him/her to develop. They too can lead normal lives, if society tries to understand them and create opportunities for them. It is not sympathy they need, but a social attitude which encourages and motivates them.
Parents should realize that they are their kids’ best therapists. However, they should undergo necessary training sessions offered by the professionals. Autistic kids are sometimes found to perform exceedingly well in art and literature.
Most parents wish that their autistic kids should lead a normal and independent life. It isn’t impossible if autistic people are given great support and encouragement by friends, family and society as well.