Autism Awareness Month - April 15
Throughout April we will be sharing a different story each day to help raise Autism Awareness and highlight how peoples' lives have been touched by Autism and Autism Queensland in different ways.
This is a small piece of my kids to raise awareness of Autism.
I have 4 fantastic kids, 2 of which have Autism and 1 with Aspergers. They are all different yet the same / they are my children (same) and have special needs (different). They may have a diagnosis but with love and support and most of all UNDERSTANDING and AWARENESS they can do amazing things.
Child 1 Loves cars and can tell you about most models, makes, there engine sizes extra's etc. What makes each vehicle different and what makes them unique. He is also a TOP Gear Fan.
Child 2 Has asked for a mention. She isn’t on the spectrum but does more than a normal sibling. She is a young Carer and helps me with the extra work and stresses involved in raising children with Special Needs, more so with the younger sibling.
Child 3 Loves music... either playing or listening to it. She can remember most songs (tune, pitch, melody, words/lyrics) and often corrects me! Or tells me who sings what when i get the singers or words mixed up.
Child 4 is into Trains, Spiders, Thomas and LEGO. HE has an amazing and creative mind, especially when it comes to Lego and recreates some interesting things. He can get frustrated with change, noises, and being misunderstood as he also has some speech language issues. He gives the most amazing SQUISHY cuddles and is very affectionate.
We have an amazing CAT that is his Best friend; He loves the cat and is seen often dragging him around cuddling and chatting to him or just sitting on the couch having one of his squishy cuddles with him and telling him all about his day etc. Because it is easy to talk to a cat!
Talking to people can be quite stressful for people and children on the spectrum. You don’t always know whether they are truly listening or are really interested. My children don’t quite get Social Etiquette, You can try and teach them but they don’t always comprehend or understand what is expected of them. And some people have different rules or ways of doing things and that can get very confusing for them.
They may turn away from you at Church during the “Sign of Peace " Please don’t take it as them being disrespectful. They are really trying to handle a lot of many different complex things around them (noise, lights, people ) they will eventually shake your hand one day. Just give them time to get use to the rules. They find it hard to interact, shaking hands, making eye contact, etc it’s a lot in one small thing that they need to learn and adjust too. (made rather confusing when not long ago taught about stranger danger then expected to shake a strangers hand and be polite)
Sharing and maintaining eye contact can be difficult for some people, but those on the autism spectrum find this especially hard. Why?....... they find it hard to read emotions. People’s faces change and show many emotions in a matter of seconds. Sometimes it is hard for them to read just one emotion rather than a complex stream of them. It is hard for them to read a person and then process what they are receiving.
Thanks for taking the time to read this small note. I hope this has helped you get a small insight of what life is like for some on the Spectrum.
I am just a small voice for my children.