With the coronavirus pandemic pandemonium going on, it's easy to forget the other important things and people in our lives. For example, April is Autism Awareness Month! Unfortunately, schools and other centers are closed that would otherwise promote autism awareness throughout the month because of the virus, and rightly so.
Meanwhile, for those who don't know, autism awareness is so important. Autism is a developmental disorder where there are different spectrum levels; meaning you can't put all autistic people in one box. One great example is the movie Rain Man starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. I, too, was guilty that all autistic people was like the role being played by Dustin Hoffman.
In this film, Cruise was the selfish younger brother forced to take care of older brother Hoffman, who had autism, if he wanted to partake in his millions. In the end, Cruise discovered that it took patience and care dealing with someone with autism. He developed love for a brother he didn't know he had, let alone had autism.
I wouldn't have known about autism unless my oldest son's preschool teacher suggested that he get evaluated by a therapist. I'm glad that I did because I was able to get him the proper placement. I thought that if I put him in a class with other children who are talking that he would do the same, but that wasn't the case. I noticed similar behavior in my youngest son and automatically knew what to do.
As mentioned, you can't put all autistic people in the same box. My sons are different as night and day; not because of their five-year age gap but their personality. I jokingly call them Prince William and Prince Harry. My oldest is soft spoken like William and my youngest is aggressive like Harry. They're both in their 20s but they're still babies to me!
They both have come a long way but the most important thing to know about autism (especially to keep from getting frustrated) is to know that there are periods of regression. There are seasons when things are calm and just when you think you've made a breakthrough, they go backward into the behavior you thought they've conquered.
For more information about autism, contact your local organization by zip code or via Google for a broader search.
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Filed under: Health and Wellness