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I Can't Help Screaming---About Autism

Updated on October 17, 2012

The Beautiful Face of Autism

They say Autistic children are even more beautiful than most.
They say Autistic children are even more beautiful than most.

Please Don't Judge Me...I May Have Autism

If you are a parent or grandparent of a child with Autism, then you already know how hard it can be to take that child out in public. And, although you should be use to the stares and whispers and even unkind remarks when your son or daughter has a meltdown in the aisle in the middle of Walmart, it still hurts knowing that you are being judged by complete strangers who know little or nothing about this epidemic disease. They just assume that you are a bad parent with a terribly spoiled child. If they only knew the truth. Autistic children are anything but spoiled. It is quite the opposite. Most are in therapy and work no less than 6-8 hours each day, locked in a room, working one on one with their teachers who are trained therapists specializing in Autism. These children are bombarded with colors, shapes, numbers and words for hours on end with the hopes that perhaps someday they will have a breakthrough or, at minimum, be able to live independently or in group homes.

If the family is fortunate enough to live in one of the many states that pay for therapy for their Autistic child, they may even have several different therapists coming in and out daily. One for speech, another for music, and so on. However, for the families that are not so fortunate, it falls upon the parents, who oftentimes must quit their jobs to stay home and become their child's advocate and full time therapist. These parents are using every minute of every day as "teaching" moments. So, when they aren't locked in a room going over "flash" cards or playing word games, they are teaching these special children to tie their shoes, dress themselves and say the word "drink". They are hard working "saints" and their life's "quest" is to make sure they have done everything in their power to ensure that their Autistic child has been given the "shot" in living their best lives. So, please don't judge them from the tiny glimpse you see of their child out in the world. Although it may be embarrassing for the parent or caretaker, it is important that these children get out and learn to socialize and also learn how to react in different situations. And since Autistic children do not like change but need order in their lives, this could be exactly the reason why they have their "meltdowns" in the middle of Walmart.

If you really knew this amazing parent, you would also know that he or she has learned to function on very little sleep for their child can go for weeks without sleeping, literally! This parent is most likely out shopping for the "glutton free" diet that she feeds her child which helps keep these "meltdowns" to a minimum.

So, I woud ask, as a mother or grandmother representing all Autistic children out there, the next time you see an out of control child in a store throwing a tantrum, hitting themselves or banging their head on the floor, please don't judge them. Autism has many, many faces. Although you see, on the outside, a beautiful looking child, they may be suffering from this epidemic disease.

If you think your child may have Autism but has not been diagnosed yet, here are some of the symptoms to be on the look out for:

The Symptoms of Autism:

  1. Loss of the few words your child had as a toddler
  2. Change in behavior; more tantrums, sleeping more, sleeping less
  3. Tantrums that include headbanging on the floor or against the wall
  4. Your child does not react when you call his or her name
  5. More interested in playing alone or by themselves than with other children or siblings
  6. Your child likes to line things up, (toys), straighten photos on the wall or move home décor arrangements around.
  7. Interest in watching the same video or videos over and over
  8. Spinning in circles, flapping their arms or flapping hands in front of their face
  9. Your child walks on their toes
  10. Staring at themselves in the mirror for long periods of time or mesmerized by their own reflection in mirrors, windows, etc.

If you feel that something is not right, listen to your "inner voice" , your "gut". Go to see your pediatrician with a list. Do not let your pediatrician tell you it is nothing and that each child is different. In these cases, usually the parents are right, unfortunately. We know our children and we just "have a feeling that something isn't okay.

At the very least, insist your child have a hearing test to rule that out. If he or she does not have a hearing problem and your pediatrician still insists your child will "grow out of it", get a second opinion. Time is of the essence as the sooner your child is diagnosed the better.

Find out if the state you live in has programs in place for children with Autism. Many parents end up moving to states that do provide free programs because the cost is prohibitive to most parents and it is vital to the growth and development of your Autistic child that they start therapy as soon as possible. This ongoing therapy will help them in becoming everything they can be. It will also ensure their place in society whether it be in mainstream, a group home or even, on their own someday!


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for this post and speaking out the parents mind.we wish at least people around us are aware of autism.

    • calico Stark profile image

      calico Stark 

      9 years ago from Earth for the time being

      Thank you for writing this hub. I have two sons with Autism and no one really understands what it is like to be in their body, experiencing everyday life sensations as painful. My oldest son would wince at the sound of the washing machine for the acute rubbing during spin cycle pierced his ears. This hub helps with awareness. Thank you again for posting it! Vote up!

    • JC447 profile image


      10 years ago from Denver, CO

      Thank you for your time in writing this well thought out article. These children are gifts (not defective, as someone sadly stated wrote). They may not live their lives out the way we have planned. But, no one ever said there was a set guideline for how a person must live, in order to obtain happiness. As parents, we must support our children and love them unconditionally. Yes, there are many obstacles and very difficult times along the way. But, there is also hope. I have witnessed some miraculous changes in my son over the years. He impresses me every day with the things he is learning. Whether the improvement is big or small, rejoice! Parents - don't give up. Hang in there! Your child needs you. Thank you for your article.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      To most people a tantruming child is a tantruming child, this is coming from someone with Asperger's Syndrome, who has a sensitivity to sudden loud sounds. Unless you expect people to have a sixth sense in knowing that your child screaming and carrying on has Autism, you have to understand those people have no idea your child is Autistic.

      I live in a society where my intolerance towards screaming children is discriminated against, when I try to explain it to many parents, I get attacked as hating children. I think you should consider that person glaring at you because your child is screaming, may also be on the Autism Spectrum. That by being aggressive or reactionary towards people without that ability to tell your child has Autism, you may be attacking someone who is like your child.

    • profile image


      10 years ago


    • salt profile image


      10 years ago from australia

      Some of the symptoms sound quite bizarre and I wonder if people have any interst in alternative healing techniques for these children. Bowen therapy for one, is a brilliant body movement/massage technique. I would say though that you have to find the right therapists.

    • Maria Myers profile image

      Maria Myers 

      10 years ago

      Nice hub! Keep it up! we have similar hubs about autism, if you want you can take a look at my hubs! Thanks..

    • MySonand I profile image

      MySonand I 

      10 years ago

      Thank you yes, we do need more awareness. Support and love.


    • profile image

      Bonnie Howell 

      11 years ago

      Have you sought treatment from the state? I know that is can be extremely expensive for help depending on what state you live in....But know this, you son will be, with assistance, rehabilitation, and free, depending on what state you live in, the best he can be. He is a blessing from God, someone sent to you for insight, growth, acceptance and unconditional that you can help others...It will get better with knowledge, time and assistance from others who can help...God bless!!!

    • ediann profile image


      11 years ago

      I am a father with a son who is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. He is 11 years old and he has many struggles with social and behavioral issues. He has been sent home from school many times early and it is difficult to make arrangements for watching him since my wife and I both have to work. We love our son and would do anything to help him. We also live with frustration and I find myself at times very emotional about his situation praying that I can find the resources and the financial arrangements to provide a safe and comfortable life for him in the event he will need to be taken care of as a young adult. It is very scary to think about but a reality that I am having to live with. I know very well what you write so eloquently because I am living it every day and with age I thought it would get better but it seems to be getting increasingly more difficult. I find I cry out of frustration and the only thing that keeps me sane is that I write about it in hope that it will give me the strength to cope. I have been writing hubs and a blog about my son and autism and what we go through for a year now. We love our son and wish to help him be the best he can be and it is a constant struggle every day. Thank you for writing such a relevant entry on the subject. We are not alone! Thank you.

      Ed Iannielli III

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      My child has autism and I couldn't agree more with your article! We really do need more awareness out there thanks for posting this.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 

      11 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks for the information, I'm trying to understand more about autism as a friend has a child who has it. I just want to be understanding of the disorder when we meet!

    • It's just me profile image

      It's just me 

      11 years ago from Alaska

      Thank you for sticking up for all of us parents! I am tired all the time I have 2 of these kids, and they seem to take turns staying up for days. I have survived on 4 or 5 hours of sleep a day (or night) for 12 years with no break. I've had to quit working and we barely survive on SSI as their Father pays no child support. They have been in so many therapies that I sometimes lose track of how many there have been, and yet I still try to find more. I've been working with them for so long that to most people they seem "Normal" until you get to know them really well, and start to notice the repetitive movements and the like. Every day without a meltdown is a miracle to be savored. Everytime I see other little boys playing without the fights and the arguments about rules I wish that mine could be so well behaved and I just try all the harder. Teachers ha! I had a special ed teacher chew me out for "letting my son stay up" a so called school counselor put my sons in the "time out room" basically a closet and when my 12 year old son was still in meltdown he pushed him stomach flat to the floor, shoved his knee in my sons back, and held his hands behind him. Oh yeah special ed teachers and counselors have learned a lot! like how to use police tactics to over power these kids and treat them like criminals. Sorry but until these people really use the knowledge they've supposedly aquired for the betterment of these kids mine will remain as homeschoolers and not have to be legally abused by the public school systems employees.

    • OTmommy profile image


      11 years ago from Southern USA

      Great hub! I am an OT who works with toddlers, many of which have been diagnosed with autism. Some of the most beautiful children I have ever met have been diagnosed with autism. I am glad there are more therapies and information out there to help these families. I am so happy that some of the medical community is identifying these cases sooner. I have had clients diagnosed as early as 18 months.

    • hinckles koma profile image

      hinckles koma 

      12 years ago from nyc

      What causes autism?

    • bhowell profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago

      Thank you so much for your comment. You are totally correct, these are beautiful, smart children who need a lot of education and attention and they are children of the hardest working parents on the planet.

    • amtwyman profile image


      12 years ago from Scottsdale Arizona

      Hello what a great post. I have spent a good part of my career working with children with autism and their families. I find it to be very sad the lack of education that our country seems to have on this topic. These kids are normal they just learn a little different and absorb information a little different. I wish more people would understand this as it would help us work towards a brighter future for our kids. With or without autism.

      I completely understand all of the frustrations and give it up to any and all parents and family members dealing with this same struggle. It is not an easy one that's for sure. Though through all of the meltdowns I have witnessed or had taken out on me. It is the joy of finally having a break through that keeps us all going.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Hello, great write-up, I used to be one of those people who just assumed things about bad parenting, etc..until my nephew was diagnosed with autism. Now I know the exact feeling, because any small thing can trigger ceaseless screaming fits, and it just makes me sad that I cant help him...he is going through all the motions, therapy and whatnot, but more people really need to understand that even if a child "looks normal" they may not be, and their parents are already going through enough (my brother cannot even work full-time because most of his waking days are spent caring for the child) without people giving dirty looks...

    • frogyfish profile image


      12 years ago from Central United States of America

      Your 'request' is distinctive because it is so uncommon, yet we all need to react in tactful ways, perhaps even with helping hands at times...That could help the parent as well as the child. Thanks for the hub.

      Perhaps you would be interested in reading my hub on 'skin absorbed nutrition for autistic children' and see about sharing that information too. We all need all the assistance we can obtain! Thank you!

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 

      12 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks for the great info. This is of concern to many people as the number of children with autism has increased dramatically in the last ten years. What age do you notice the change in children? what are your thoughts on immunization and autism? Maybe that could be another hub..

      Good job!

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      12 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      Thank you for speaking out. My oldest had many of the symptoms of mild Autism as a toddler. I don't know what changed, but one day he started making jokes, and things have improved greatly since then.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Every child is a gift from God. No body wants to have a deffective children anyway. But if it happens that you already have child with Autism all you have to do is love and accept that child.


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