- Disabilities & the Disabled
Inside The World Of Autism
What were your feelings when you first heard those scary words? "Your child has Autism". This is a parent's nightmare! Autism comes with many struggles but it's almost worst for the people in their surroundings who are trying to understand the world of Autism.
Have you ever thought what it must be like to have Autism? I have these thought constantly when I watch the trials and tribulations that occurs with my teenage daughter. My daughter was diagnosed at the age of two and the nightmares began. I often thought what she was thinking when she would sit on the floor and rock back and forth; making hand gestures to herself that appeared to be a language that only she understood. It seemed to calm her and made her feel that she could tune out the outside world.
Did you know that the world that we live in day to day can be extremely overwhelming for a child with Autism. When you take a child with Autism to a shopping store, the outcome is usually a meltdown. The noise in a autistic's child environment is much higher than it is for us. A few people may be talking at once and to us they are just having a normal group conversation. To a child with Autism, this can be torture. They view this as a conflict of extremely loud noise. The only thing for them to do is escape. For most, you will see the child yelling out, rocking, screaming or trying to leave the store. These children are unable to process that the people are just conversating and nothing is wrong. Imagine what that must feel like? Hearing voices at a higher frequency must be frightening. The same thing happens when too many people suddenly appears in the autistic child's space. Panic is the best way to describe what they experience. Again, the only thing the child can do is escape into their own world by rocking back and forth or hand gestures. Most autistic children will have a severe meltdown and cry and scream until they are removed from this torture.
The one thing people have to realize is that the children who are autistic did not choose this disability and nor did the parents. It takes a great deal of patience, love and understanding to parent these children without losing themselves to this disability. It's almost impossible to relate to the children with Autism and understand their world completely but the best thing we can do as humans is to have compassion for our children. Watching my daughter throughout the years, I've noticed that public places can be very hard for, especially crowds. Several methods that I use when I see the signs of trouble have helped ease the torture. First as a parent, you must learn the warning signs of when your child is in trouble. Some autistic children will stare at an object with an uneasy look on their faces. This is the first warning sign for me with my daughter. Second, examine the environment when you enter it; meaning, if it's a store that is crowded and it seems a little noisy, find something to distract your child; like give your child their favorite electronics to play with. Children with Autism are really good with kindles, ipads and other devices. If this does not work, leave the store. I know it's easier said than done but I've been there; leave the store. My child had a meltdown in a store and I continued to shop as she was having her meltdown. I thought if I ignored the behavior, she would resume to being calm but I was so wrong. The behavior escalate to the extreme. She began to cry hysterically and became unconsoleable. I proceeded to the checkout line and the behavior continued. People came up to me asking me if she was okay? I gave the people a smile and nodded that she was okay. Nothing I did or said distracted her from her torment. From experience I know that in the future when she has reached her limit, I have to leave from where we are and get her to a place where she feels safe.
There are resources out there that gives parents hope and information about the world that our children live in. One site is www.autismawareness.com .You will find videos and literature about the world of Autism. I encourage you to explore this site to learn, understand and recognize warning signs of when your child needs you to be their advocate, savior, protector. Remember, Autism is a very difficult and confusing world to understand; just imagine what it must be like to live it.