Autism is a very serious condition that affects how someone reacts and interacts or withdraws from situations. It is an impairment that affects the brain and it seems to form a disconnect that hinders normal social interaction. As a result it may make one find it difficult to experience laughter or joy. An autistic child’s view of the world can be much different than that of a normal child. An autistic child will tend to be more distant and possibly unfeeling as it is hard for them to express themselves and they can easily get frustrated and react in a way where they may become violent or uncooperative. They will yell and scream or react improperly to what affects them. It is hard for them to laugh and be spontaneous. An autistic child can be unpredictable in how they react and they will be inconsistent with their behavior. It takes a lot of patience to try to get through to an autistic child and to get on their level. You need to speak their “language” so to speak. They are sometimes very hard to read and you will find it unsettling if they react in a way that causes a disturbance and lack of control. In these situations it is very difficult to find humor and helping them through the difficulty is the first order of priority. You really have to make it a point to teach your autistic child how to laugh and joke and find humor in things and not take themselves or life so seriously. It is not that easy but if you can help your child learn to laugh and find happiness and humor you will be giving them a priceless gift.
Humor is the ability to see the funny or lighter side of things. It is a way of finding pleasure and joy and we react with laughter and encounter good feelings that make us smile and feel whimsy. It is a way of escaping the realities imposed in our lives. Humor is connecting with others in a way where we can be spontaneous and we can laugh out loud in their presence and it can be contagious. Laughter is medicine and it helps us to feel better and appreciate the lighter side of life. We don’t always have to be so serious. We can laugh too and this is so important in our life. It is important for autistic children and autistic adults also and when we can learn to laugh we then can learn to be ourselves. If I can teach my son anything in life it would be to learn to appreciate the little things and the ability to laugh and find good in everything and to give back.
Sometimes we look to find humor in movies we like to see. It is always nice to see a comedy that really makes us feel good and laugh so hard we almost cry. That is the greatest feeling when you can laugh with such vigor and feel truly wonderful in the process. I as a kid always appreciated comedy and I would love to watch the old Abbot & Costello movies on Sunday morning. I would look forward to watching them and would really enjoy how they acted together. It was pure joy watching them on the screen and I remember laughing on many occasions and grew up on their movies and could watch them over and over again. I enjoyed their movies so much I would teach my son about them and we would watch some of their movies together. They definitely made me laugh and appreciate that part of my childhood.
The most fun I have with my son is when we see a funny movie together and I see and hear him laugh and having a great time. This brings joy and happiness to me and this is what makes me appreciate life. When I can see my son feeling good and expressing his happiness and laughing and finding in that moment something that gives him a good feeling then I will feel great joy and will laugh along with him and remind him of that moment and see if we can find more moments like that because that is what we all need to do in our lives so we can find our happiness.
Edward D. Iannielli III