Autism is a disorder characterized by impairment in social interaction, verbal as well as non-verbal communication. It is a characteristic of repetitive and restricted behavior. These signs show up in early childhood stage( Frith & Happe, 2005). The signs may develop gradually or normally. These signs usually onset at the age of two and can be caused by either genetic or environmental factors. The diagnostic method is a based on developmental history and the behavior portrayed. Early speech and interventions on a childs behavior constitute the treatment process. Many people in the present age have however adopted various myths about autism and victims of autism. This research paper aims at disputing autism myths and elaborating realities about autism (Bondy,2012). The research paper also addresses parents with autistic children and outlines on how to handle the disease.
The greatest enemy of truth is not the deliberate, the lie, the dishonest or contrived but the myth. Public awareness concerning autism has grown significantly in recent decades. The spread of myth and misconception has also immensely spread. Christian Jarret, a psychologist, addresses researchers, autistic kids, and their relatives and unveils the reality of autism. In her article, she attempts to set a straight record. She addresses wrong ideas about autism including the ideology that anybody with autism has a talent that is hidden; autistics are unfriendly and other developed ideas. Christian Jarret conveys what autism is. Everyone with autism is not a genius; this is one common myth that most people develop from the autistic character of Dustin Hoffman ( Baird & Cass, 2003). Dustin instantly counts an exact number of cocktail sticks a waitress drops by the floor. In different scenarios, he identifies the days of the week for a given date. This film and its popularity have helped in spreading the myth that autistic people are usually genius and have exceptional talents. The myth has also gathered support from books about autistic savants who are very popular. Although autistic people have impressive strength like superb math skills and detailed attention, the reality is that only a very small percent of the population has an extreme talent. This whole myth is just a positive misconception which creates difficulties for autistic children and their parents. It can be damaging because parents will tend to think that the child must have some exceptional skill. Allison Shefcyk, a research assistant at the University of Connecticut, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. She also disputes this particular myth with her personal life as an autistic. We have interests and talents like many people, but saying we are superior in any way, its like were trying to justify our existence alongside other people, as if we have to keep up this myth, or nobody will want us.
Another hurting myth about autism is the idea that people with this condition are selfish and unfriendly. Despite the fact that autistic people struggle with the challenge of taking another persons perspective, they dont lack anything in their emotion towards other peoples pain and joy. Kim Southall also understands how the antisocial and uncaring myth has rampantly spread. She is a mother of seven, a boy with autism ( Leonard, Glasson & Hammod, 2013). She is also a co-founder of Autism Aware UK charity together with her husband. People with autism tend to be quite aloof, and they dont know how to be in certain social situations, some of them also dont like to be held close because they have a sensitivity to touch, but its absolute rubbish to say that they do not love or capable of love. Our son is really lovely and all the people Ive ever met with autism, theyve all been very loving. She says. The final thought of Christian Jarret is unveiling the reality in regards to autism. The reality in a simple term, autism conceals a bulging field of complexity.
It goes without saying that autistic children need to be embraced and supported by their parents. Parents with such kids should create time and familiarize the child with the global community.It enables a child to have a repertoire of activities for leisure. The child and the entire family then can live happily. The child indulges in different activities and more so in the absence of the parents. Parents can also form a group for education purposes. You cant handle a condition you only know. You will also be able to make informed decisions, educate yourself on the various treatment options as well as make the necessary inquiries. There is a need for you to know it and the deal with it the best way possible. Here, they will find other parents of children with autism who shall, in turn, be a wealth of crucial information regarding the same.
Parents who are in a stable position can also opt to hire advocates who will check on the school program of your child. A fresh set of eyes will identify areas that need improvements. They will also assure you that they are doing their best to your child. A parent can also volunteer to be a class mom. Here, you will get to understand and know the class teacher as well as the school administration. It is also advisable that parents with autistic children take a break from the norm even if it means for some few hours.
As a parent, it is crucial not to conceal the condition of your child from friends. Enlighten your relatives and friends about the condition. Ask for any support you require. Engage yourself in autistic walks around your community. It is effective even meeting families of your kind and other different; you gain more strength and hope. Parents should also take great care, leave alone the child. Autism is not a sprint but rather a marathon. Commit you and your child to be healthy and whole as well as happy. Do the necessary and get there. Taking care of your self is not an act of selfishness nor is it a luxury. It is a necessity. When you are emotionally strong as a parent, then your child will be at rest. Do not at any time give up. It is difficult for one to predict the course of autism, like everyone else, autistic people have an entire lifetime to develop and grow their abilities.
Consistency is another key factor parents should consider regarding the health of their kid. Getting involved in treatment activities of your child is very essential. Do not wait for the usual clinic, make arrangements with your doctor for follow-ups. Find out what the therapist does and continue with your techniques back at home. Reward good behavior your child does. It will steer the child and will create enthusiasm. Create consistency in the environment of your child also.It is the best way to reinforce the learning of your child.
Another strategy that parents can employ is by taking their children to attend special education services. These school-based programs aim at anindividual or rather personal needs of a child. Specialized instruction and individual attention are embraced.
In conclusion, it is clear that autism is a field of diversified thoughts, some which are just myths and misconceptions on the wrong ideology as discussed above. However, the reality about autistic people has been dealt with in the form of print media and has enlightened the global community at large. To take care of autistic kids, parents have a task to partake as elaborated in this paper. Learning about the condition of autism in depth is the first step all the way to engaging in the treatment process. Parents are encouraged to be strong emotionally and psychologically since this is the best one can offer to an autistic child. Parents should not develop a mountain out of a mere hill. How one handles a condition no matter how bad is a true determinant of the childs outcome. It is therefore very crucial for parents to take full responsibility as well as asking for support from the government and the global community at large.
Frith, U., & Happe, F. (2005). Autism spectrum disorder. Current biology, 15(19), R786-R790.
Bondy, A. (2012). The unusual suspects: Myths and misconceptions associated with PECS. The Psychological Record, 62(4), 789.
Greener, M. (2015). The complex enigma of autism. Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry, 19(2), 5-8.
Petalas, M. A., Hastings, R. P., Nash, S., & Duff, S. (2015). Typicality and subtle difference in sibling relationships: experiences of adolescents with autism. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(1), 38-49.
Baird, G., Cass, H., & Slonims, V. (2003). Diagnosis of autism. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 327(7413), 488.
Leonard, H., Glasson, E., Bebbington, A., Hammond, G., Croft, D., Pikora, T., ... & Watson, L. (2013). Application of population-based linked data to the study of intellectual disability and autism. International Review of Research in Mental Retardation: Academic Press, 281-327.
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