Today is Autism Awareness day, wherein people all around the world will be trying to raise awareness of Autism. As some of you might already be familiar, autism is a life long condition with no treatment nor cure. It is something that those who have the condition have to learn to manage and deal with for their entire lives, as well as those around them. I’ve known my son to be autistic for almost four years, and even with foreknowledge, the diagnosis was a bitter pill to swallow.
This year I sit here with the possibility that my eldest daughter may also be autistic, she is soon to be assessed, and hopefully, autistic or otherwise, her diagnosis will take far less than the eighteen months that it took for my son to receive his diagnosis. The struggles she has in school, and indeed, some of her character traits, seem to indicate autism. More importantly however, I just want her to be able to get the support she needs so that she may be able to fulfil her innate potential.
As some of you may be aware, she currently has her own blog, having appeared here before under the guise of The Robin. She’s just written a post about autism as well, highlighting how she interacts with her brother, give it a look https://therobinandrose.wordpress.com/
As a parent of potentially two autistic children, I cannot state enough how understanding and awareness of autism by others can help both the parents and the children. In the past autistic kids have been dismissed as either disobedient or merely lacking intelligence, yet in today’s society, with the help provided by councils, schools and charities such as the National Autistic Society, these children now have received more understanding, and as a result the support they need, and have been given the future they have and deserve. Their individual needs have been catered to, and some of these children have ended up as bright points in our society.
The biggest example I can give is from an entertainment show, The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper, here is a character who whilst clearly a genius, also is clearly autistic, high functioning autistic at that. To me, Sheldon is a perfect example of just what a child with high functioning autism, can achieve with the right support network in society. Children with low functioning autism can easily function and live full lives in society, again with the right support network around them.
Raising awareness for autism, not only helps us all learn more about autism, and realise the sheer amount of autistic people within society, but will also help to make the upper echelons more aware of autism, and ensure that eventually, more support will be given to children and adults with autism, and allow them to live full, joyful and happy lives, knowing that the only limit is a limit imposed by their own choices and the extent of their own dreams, and not the labels, sneers, restrictions and lack of support from the society they are a great part of.
Until next time,