The world to most of us is a very confusing and intimidating place and it takes a long time to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead. We have to learn our ABC’s in kindergarten, the multiplication tables in the 1st grade, reading and spelling in the 2nd grade, math and science in the 3rd grade and then we have grades 4 through 12 where we learn everything else we need too so we can go on to college and prepare for the “real world”. We need a strong support system to complete our schooling and to continue our education with our college ambitions. As young students we typically need encouragement and a feeling of comfort and nurturing. We all seek acceptance and crave attention. We all are individuals and we all have different views and ways of seeing and understanding things. We all have different strengths so we should evaluate those strengths and weaknesses so we can find suitable goals based on our talents and interests.
We also learn through the many social experiences we have which is a very important aspect of our life. Learning to make friends and treat each other with respect is something we all must learn so we can become well adjusted and develop our personality.
We need to understand that friendships are so valuable in our lives and the more people we meet and befriend and the more experiences we have will help us learn the true meaning of life and what is important. For autistic children the ability to develop meaningful relationships is more difficult because they lack the necessary social skills that enable them to communicate and express themselves. They tend to avoid these social situations and prefer to be alone in their own world doing the things that make them happy. They are used to repetitive forms of expression and they are extremely sensitive to sound and tend to have difficulty making eye contact. They also do not always know proper decorum as they tend to be reactionary in how they behave. They can be very calm and engaging one moment and something could set them off like a high pitched siren sound which will affect them and they will lose it behaviorally. In this case they will tend to be overwhelmed and then their behavior will become an issue and they will most likely have a meltdown.
Autism is so far reaching as it not only affects the child with the diagnosis but it affects all the family members and all the people involved in the child’s life such as teachers, friends and family relatives. If we could identify the cause of autism we would hopefully find a way to help those affected by it. Most autistic children and adults can function and take on responsibilities but their abilities and their needs have to be addressed and proper action has to be taken. Currently there is no real known cause of autism but there are a lot of theories and suppositions. Until we have absolute documented proof of the causes there will only be theories as to why it occurs and why it is so prevalent.
In order to have hope we need to have vision for brighter days ahead despite an autism diagnosis and we need to have faith in God and internal strength.
With an autism diagnosis comes a lot of questions and a lot of uncertainty. We just have to try to deal with it as best we can if we are the parents of an autistic child and we need to make sure our child will have all the care and help they need to help them and show them the way. We will always be there for them and treat them no differently and will be very supportive and very understanding. Autistic children need love, support, hope, encouragement, the ability to dream and a clear vision of what the possibilities are despite their autism. If you ask an autistic child what they wish for you will be surprised that most will say all they wish for is to be understood and loved and that is after all what most of us wish for.
Autistic children are no different and they are truly very special and very wise. They have such a way about themselves that warrant our attention and our love and they give us hope with their vision and their innocence. I am always amazed with my son’s approach to life and his vision of the world and I see him as a child that makes me very happy and proud. I see my son as a bright and wonderful young boy with hopes and dreams and a vision of a brighter world where we all get along and accept each other and there is peace and joy in the world. My son has a wonderful innocence about life and we always encourage him to hold on to his dreams and to keep hold of his vision too for that is what gives us hope.
Edward D. Iannielli III