Since April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, it is a great opportunity to become informed and aware of the basics of autism and how to support those with it. Whether it be how life is on a daily basis for someone with autism to how be respectful to someone with autism, education is key to understanding this disorder.
1. Everyone’s Autism is Different
If you have met or interacted with someone with autism, you have not experienced what all people with autism are like. Generalizing what everyone’s autism symptoms are like will only end in inconsistencies. This is why there is a spectrum when it comes to autism. Some individuals have autism and are high functioning. While some may have severe signs of “classic” autism.
2. Bad Parenting Does Not Bring on Autism
In the early stages of understanding Autism, many blamed parents for their lack of engagement and amount of nurture with the child that lead to the disorder. Of course, with better research and insight, parenting is deemed not be the cause of autism. There are some proven factors that cause autism. Infections, metabolic problems, substances that a mother takes during pregnancy, brain abnormalities, and other genetic abnormalities.
3. The Earlier, the Better
This does not mean the sooner the diagnosis, the better chance for a “cure”. It means there is a stronger opportunity for better learning and communication skills, less behavioral issues, and an overall more adaptive skills of independence. As well, evidence-based treatments for autism are educational/therapy related not necessarily medical. These therapy-based treatments are best started early, are intensive in nature and based on behavioral principles. It also helps to have parents be an integral part of nurturing social interest.
4. Children with Autism are Still Children
Even though children with autism have difficulty in their basic communication skills, they are still children. Children may need help in communicating their emotions and responses to situations, but they are still children. In some situations, those with ASD grow up and live their adult lives independently thriving in their respected careers while some may need dependent living situations their entire life. No matter where a person with ASD falls on the spectrum, it does not make their life any less valuable.