Judging someone is often so much easier to do than taking the time to understand them.
Several of my most favourite little people in the world are on the Autism spectrum but often, they have been judged as “naughty kids.” Misbehaving kids. Kids who have no discipline. Kids who have parents who have let them “get away with murder” and instilled no social boundaries for them.
These assumptions shit me to no end for two reasons: one, because they couldn’t be further from the truth and secondly, because put plainly, it hurts my feelings; it’s a very personal issue for me. Ignorance hurts because we all need to know better.
But I shouldn’t be angry, I should know better. It’s really all about education.
April is Autism Awareness Month and it’s SO important that as a community, we understand what Autism is all about. Statistically, Autism is on the rise, particularly in our children and young people, largely due to better diagnostic practices. Children who once fell through the cracks or worse, were just labelled as psychotic or just plain naughty, are now receiving the help they need to manage their condition. And it ain’t easy.
No two children on the Autism Spectrum are the same. Its symptoms can range from mild and almost undetectable, to “quirky,” to severe. One child may present as gifted in certain areas but have difficulty functioning in “normal” social settings, while another may present with more developmental or academic delays. It often takes teams of professionals including psychologists, speech pathologists, paediatricians and educators to work together as a team to help uncover and harness a child with ASD’s full, and mostly incredible, potential.
Having a child on the Autism spectrum is hard work, but being one is even harder. We hope this video, which shows the overwhelming sensory overload that some Autistic children are faced with in everyday situations, like walking through a shopping centre, will provide a little more insight into what they deal with on a daily basis.
Does this video give you a better understanding of autism?