Another member and I had the idea of making a thread about Autism Spectrum Disorder, as this is something a lot of people are either directly affected by because they live with ASD, or know somebody who does.
Firstly I just wanted to ask everyone what do you already know about Autism?
@j95 Great thread! I definitely think there needs to be more awareness and support for people with ASD.
From what I know, people with ASD have trouble processing information because they can get overloaded pretty easily. In teaching we have to be mindful of the way we present information to kids with asd because we can trigger over-sensory. I can't really remember much else right now so it'll be good to see what others know.
I have a friend who has ASD and I know someone who used to work with autistic children.
Agreed @Karinaskii, great thread idea!
As mentioned by the others, I understand ASD to be a spectrum, so people can have more or less issues in processing different types of information, ranging from anything social to intellectual.
I used to help a lovely adolescent with Aspergers in her reading, though this syndrome falls on the high functioning end of the spectrum as it does not compromise intellectual ability usually.
However, she was extremely introverted and often did not make eye contact, and had limited, repetitive topics of discussion, so I found the best way of communicating with her was patiently letting her control the flow of conversation, so she could be comfortable.
Look forward to learning from others
Awesome idea for a thread @j95!!
Mostly what I know about autism comes from online sources, especially tumblr blogs and other social media of people who have autism spectrum disorder.
A couple of things I want to put out there are that most of the people I've spoken to who are autistic prefer identity first language! As in they say 'I am an autistic person' rather than 'I have autism spectrum disorder.' A lot of people argue that this supports having pride in their identity, and not seeing autism as an illness but as a neurodivergence. Some people say that it's like saying 'I'm awesome' rather than 'I'm a person with awesomeness.'
I also have found found that most autistic people dislike high and low functioning labels, because they're often used to excuse ableism and allow non-autistic people to either invalidate high-functioning people ('you don't look autistic!') or to speak over low-functioning people ('I know what's best for you.')
I've also investigated whether I might have ASD so I've done a lot of research! I'm still not really sure whether I fall on the spectrum...I experience a lot of the symptoms, but others don't impact my life as much as they did when I was younger.
A lovely autistic person called Amythest Schaber has a really good series of YouTube videos about autism - https://m.youtube.com/user/neurowonderful
I don't know a lot about Autism except some bits and pieces (a lot of which @DruidChild mentioned already ) In my prac the classroom next door to me had a couple of autistic kids, and it was interesting how different they were.
I wanted to use this thread as a way of sharing my own experience (it's taken awhile, but here I go) So basically my mum had been pestering me to see someone. I thought it was general psych business, turns out it was actually about Aspergers, which I have. I guess. I managed pretty well through childhood and mostly through high school (according to parents, who I trust, because I don't remember ) I suppose as things got more stressful, i.e end of high school to university, things started to get harder.
I don't really know how I feel, but it feels nice to say something (unless I delete this in the morning...)
I guess it makes some sense..? Going to stop talking now. I'm really tired
Interesting to see some know a fair bit others not so much - that means we can learn from each other!
It does vary, I agree. Some people struggle with what we think are simple and basic things, and others can seem to be quite high functioning to others.
Thanks for sharing your experience @N1ghtW1ng that takes a lot of courage to talk to us about it but it isn't anything to be ashamed of.
You might of answered this in your other answer but I want to ask... Do you support or know somebody with autism? What type of adjustments, if any, do you make for them?
- Not too much noise
- Not too many options
- No sudden changes (I try to warn her before things are happening, so i'll say something like, we are packing up soon, very soon then nearly finished)
These things really have to be taken into account because without them there is a 95% chance of triggering a meltdown which can last for anything between 2 minutes and 2 days.
I also support her by using basic sign language because that is something she is learning at the moment. So I will speak to her and use the key word signs or if I'm noticing she needs something I'm teaching her to sign it, so for example if she would like a drink.
I also have a younger brother with Aspergers Syndrome, which is often labelled High Functioning Autism. He attends grade 4 at a mainstream school. I support him in similar ways that I support my sister by making sure our environment is not too stimulating, but he does a good job of recognising when things are too much and often gives himself space. I also encourage and praise his use of social skills, so if he using good eye contact and paying attention to who is speaking I tell him he has done a good job, I often have to remind him of thinking about what he says before he says it but he is getting better. He does need support but I find he needs a lot less intensive support than my sister and can generally play together with my other siblings quite well and to most people would seem like he doesn't have a disability.
Overall they are both so different.
To answer the next question, in my prac there were those two boys, although I didn't interact with them very much, so I didn't need to really support them. At my ju jitsu club, there is a boy who has autism, which I learned from his dad. It's not very obvious, but I always make sure to encourage him when we're doing techniques and such. A smile in his direction, praise and such.
It's wonderful what you do for your siblings @j95
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