In today’s society, people with Autism are seen as people who need extra help, people who are “not like the rest of us”. In school, you learn to treat people with Autism the same as you would treat your friends. You learn to include them in sports, clubs, and class activities. However, most people don’t understand how to accommodate to people with autism.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges”. Autism isn’t something you can grow out of or cure. It’s a lifestyle for millions of families.
There is no way to medically test for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism is determined through behavior and development in children, usually in the span of 18 months to the age of 2. There is no definite answer for how autism is caused. Some researchers believe it is caused by a genetic imbalance while other researchers believe autism is caused by environmental influences as the brain develops after birth. Without this answer, finding a cure to ASD is one hundred times more difficult.
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder struggle with basic social, emotional, and communication skills. Sometimes, children and adults with autism can’t control the way they feel or the way they behave. They have trouble with identifying objects, adapting to routine changes, understanding other people’s feelings, expressing their own feelings, or relating to others.
In many cases, people who are autistic don’t like to make eye contact, to be held or cuddled, or to be in large group settings. Imagine you are talking to a 12-year-old autistic child. From your perspective, it may even seem as though as they are unaware you are talking to them. In reality, they are more distracted by their environment and the sounds, smells, and sights it produces. All of these are common symptoms children and adults experience in an average day.
Living with autism can be very difficult, especially at first. However, children and adults learn to communicate, interact, behave, and learn in practical ways. The best way to help someone with autism is to put them in intervention services immediately after diagnosis. By having them attend speech and behavioral therapy at an early age, some of the symptoms of ASD can be lessened significantly.
Many intervention centers use animal therapy to enhance their programs. People with autism find pleasure in having a close bond with an animal such as a dog or a horse. Doctors and Physicians can also prescribe medication to help tame aggressive behavior and irritability.
Caring for an autistic child is emotionally, financially, and physically straining for families and friends. Parents and siblings put their dreams and goals on hold as caring for their loved one is a 24/7 job. In some situations, parents and siblings fight depression that formed from the constant stress.
It’s a terrible feeling, especially for parents, to not be able to control how your child’s life will turn out. Any parent would give anything for their child to be “normal” and comfortable in their own skin. Parents can’t control their autistic child’s feelings- their feelings of failure, low self-confidence, and low self-esteem. Having autism is not just a diagnosis anymore, it’s a lifestyle millions of people have to live with.
It’s on us. It’s on us to educate others about autism. It’s on us to make the world a happy and safe place for people with ASD. Autistic children and adults have proved to the world that nothing, not even this genetic disease, can bring them down. So why is the rest of the world scared to talk to or be friends with these incredible warriors? It’s them and their families bravery that makes them heroes. So, now it’s on us to follow in their footsteps. Who knows? The cure for autism could be right around the corner.
If you or a loved one has shown signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder or knows someone presenting symptoms, seek out a local physician’s help. Tweet us @CelebMix or @CelebMixCares with your own autism stories, thoughts, opinions, or questions.
Before you go, check out this video of a day in the life of an autistic child.