“Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.”
Their is 5 different types of autism. I don’t think people really understand what autism actually is, so let me explain who my son is not. He is not Rain Man! I think a lot of people think that autistic children are some type of wonderful genius that is going to talk about bugs like Max Braverman (Parenthood) These are actors, these are movies. We are not living the “Miracle Run” lifestyle, my son is not going to pick up a guitar and just play as if he has played his whole life. He is not going to decide to join cross country because he loves to run. You don’t see the struggles parents, families in general go through. Therapy sessions and doctors appointments. Deciding which route to go, whether it is to medicate or not to medicate. Testing and the worries of epilepsy(big fear of mine).
Lets say you know someone with autism and they are highly intelligent and they speak with no problem. Well thats not every case. Again their is 5 different types of autism. My little monster might not ever talk, but he is making progress with things and thats whats important. He has no way of explaining to me what hurts, or what he wants. I look for signs that he shows me.
So after explaining sort of what my son is not. Remember that no 2 cases of autism are the same. The child you know might be potty trained, but is non verbal. My son has amazing social interaction skills with people he trusts and he is starting to notice other children which is a big step. He is non verbal so he lacks communication skills. I’m not saying my son isn’t a genius in his own way and I most certainly am not saying he isn’t smart. Trust me he is too smart, he is problem solver! If he wants something then he will figure out how to get it. He is a quick learner and loves to play piano. I believe every child has a purpose and maybe my little guy will change someone, if not change the world. But 1 thing I know he isn’t is Rain Man and I am perfectly fine with that. Autism is a bad thing, if I could change it I would. Anybody would! But I am glad he is who he is, and since autism is a part of that…well thats okay I will take the good with the bad!
And if you need more explanation, watch Temple Grandin (movie, Claire Danes). It helped my family understand the monster better and maybe it will help show you what autism and the actual struggle is!