1 in 100 have autism – 3 of them live in my house…

Today is the day where posts are flying around the internet in a bid to educate people about autism.  As much as I support Autism Awareness Day and help to promote awareness for autism, facts and figures won’t teach people about autism – people teach people about autism!!!!  

Facts and figures don’t show how families are affected by autism.  They don’t show what daily life is like; what it’s like when your child is lying on the supermarket floor screaming  because an announcement has been made over the tannoy that hurts your child’s ears, the difficulty of trying to take a 5 minute journey through a city centre that ends up taking half an hour because your child HAS to walk on every line the council have (so very kindly) built into the floor, the nights you spend sitting awake for hours on end with your 5 year old that has all the worries of the world on his shoulders.  They don’t show how it feels to have the disapproving looks, the tuts and mutterings about how you’re a bad parent and can’t control your child.

The facts miss out the pleasure autism can bring, the joy of your child seeing the world in a unique way, the fun and fascination they find in the spinning of a wheel.  The sheer pleasure when you experience your child accomplishing something that most parents would take for granted; when they look at you, when they say hello, seeing them interact with another child, when they tell you that they love you (Danny was 3 and a half when he told me he loved me and it was one of the greatest days of my life).

I want people to be aware of autism, I want them to understand that it can’t be seen –  that autistic people look exactly the same as everyone else (although with closer inspection you may find they have no labels in their clothes, and seamless socks ;p) and realise that not every person with autism is like rainman!

So next  time you’re out shopping and you see a child screaming please stop and think for a minute.  Yes the child may just be having a moment (we’ve all been there) but be aware there may be more to what you’re seeing.  An autistic child can react badly, kicking and screaming because of the smallest change in their life, they have no control over this.  So before you judge the child for being naughty, or the parent for having no control come an walk a day in my shoes and see how it really is.

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10 thoughts on “1 in 100 have autism – 3 of them live in my house…

  1. Well said and very well written. I am amongst the people who HAVE in the past tutted at the kids screaming (usually when my head is pounding to begin with though!) but since talking to you and other people, my perspective, attitude and tolerance has changed so much. SO for that I thank you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… You are an amazing lady and your kids are very lucky to have you as a mommy!!

    • Aww Lou, you know I only do what any other mum in my situation would do. I owe you a lot for keeping me sane and making me giggle – thank you 😀 x

  2. Almost a year ago a new (and now very dear) friend walked in to my life and brought with her a wonderful four year old boy with autism. It was my first encounter with autism and I’ve learned so much.

    I love your post. I think the world and society overall can learn a lot from people with autism. Simply being tolerant of difference isn’t enough. Most of us could benefit from looking beyond first impressions in most situations.

    I’ll be sharing your post with my friends.
    Rachel x

    • Thank you so much Rachel, your comment means a lot. Looking beyond the first impression is exactly what I would love people to do, not just with children but with everybody. I’m a woman on a mission and we all know how dangerous one of those can be!!! x

  3. Wow, could have written this myself! I would also say one of the happiest days of my life was the first time J told me, unprompted, that he loves me. He was nearly 4 years old.

    You might be interested in seeing a couple of posts on my own blog – would love to know your thoughts!

    http://throughacceptinglimits.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/an-open-letter-to-toys-r-us-4/

    And a follow-up post:
    http://throughacceptinglimits.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/youre-essentially-one-of-those-whiny-mothers-who-has-an-excuse-for-everything/

    I’m sure you’ll recognise a lot of parallels between our experiences!

    Thank you for sharing your own thoughts and experiences so beautifully xx

    • I’m nearly crying at the thought of your little boy saying he loved you because I know what a special feeling it is!

      I’ve had a quick look at your blog and can’t wait to go back and have a proper read from the beginning. Both the posts you’ve shared with me above had made my blood boil, it’s those exact people that I’m talking about in my latest post. It amazes me how people can be so ignorant, even before my 3 were diagnosed I was never that rude of intolerant of others Grrrr!

      It’s so nice to read something that mirrors my experiences so well, it makes you feel that you’re not the only one going through this and it makes it much easier so thank you 🙂

      Looking forward to reading more x

  4. I have a child with significant learning difficulties, which is absolutely not the same as being on the spectrum. However she looks normal to anyone on the outside, but can display behaviour which is very far from normal. Those extra special tantrums over loud noises in public, or terror at the prospect of the unknown, that no-one else recognises as something other than poor behaviour, whilst trying to manage two other children at the same time, don’t you just love it? It’s good to know I’m not the only one….
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah, Sorry it’s taken so long to reply I’ve only just got back from our holiday (which was surprisingly tantrum free!!!).

      It’s always good to know you’re not the only one who has to deal with the extra special tantrums whilst trying to do 10 other things – they always seem to happen when you’re on your own and you could do with 5 more pairs of hands don’t they?!

      Oh well, I’ve found dealing with my children’s unpredictability has taught me some brilliant man management skills – next stop prime minister?! 😉 x

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