Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

by Ellen Notbohm

Some days it seems the only predictable thing about it is the unpredictability. The only consistent attribute, the inconsistency. There is little argument on any level but that autism is baffling, even to those who spend their lives around it.

The child who lives with autism may look "normal," but his or her behavior can be perplexing and downright difficult. Today, the citadel of autism, once thought an "incurable" disorder, is cracking around the foundation. Every day, individuals with autism show us they can overcome, compensate for, and otherwise manage many of the condition's most challenging aspects. Equipping those around our children with a simple understanding of autism's most basic elements has a tremendous effect on the children's journey towards productive, independent adulthood. Autism is an extremely complex disorder, but we can distill it to three critical components: sensory processing difficulties, speech/language delays and impairments, and whole child/social interaction issues.

Here are 10 things every child with autism wishes you knew.

Freelance writer and consultant Ellen Notbohm is a columnist for Autism/Asperger's Digest and co-author of 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (Future Horizons). She favors "common sense" approaches to raising her sons with autism and AD/HD. She lives in Oregon.
Thanks to those of you that have written/called to express your support. No eye jammies required yet! Always nice to be reminded that your mother reads your blog every now and then, though. Yikes! And Bowerbird??!?! Who knew he was even still alive?

We're doing fine, relatively speaking, getting things in order to ensure India gets the services she needs. It's been stressful, and if I've been even more out-of-touch than usual, it's mainly because I'm retreating to the bare minimum of extracurricular activities to keep me sane, if not terribly social. I'm heading to Philly this weekend to cover the Wizard World Convention, then the countdown begins to a relaxing week down in VA at my mother's house. Almost tempted to not come back! Almost... ;-)

PS: Madagascar sucked! Shrek was a fluke, apparently; Dreamworks isn't anywhere near the same league as Pixar or Disney. Looking forward to Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Little next. And, of course, a little independent movie called Batman Begins!

1 comment:

Christina Springer said...

Thanks Guy,

for bringing me to the 21st Century. Do you have "1001 Things..." If not, can we send it to you?

Also - new e---mail - svahairie-at-gmail-dot-com

Glad to hear you are being present in India's process. The author of that book sounds so right on target!

Not that you are planning a family vacation soon - but - Pittsburgh has one of the only autism friendly play centers in the world. The Center For Creative Play was designed to be accessable to ALL children and especially those vibrating the world in Autism.

Sorry - I'm not still there. But, it could be fun. (Or a good detour on trips to Virginia.

And - the offer still stands...let us know...we want to be part of your process.