AUTISM - GENERAL TOPICS
1. What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic
people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
2. Understanding the difference between Autism and Intellectual Disability
It is often the case that many have a stereotypical view that Autism equates, to at least some degree, to intellectual disability. This is a particularly strongly held belief towards Autistic children / adults who communicate non-verbally. Often correlating with this false belief, is the equally damaging belief that the child / adult has limited ability to learn and will continue to have limited abilities across their life-span.
Clarifying between Autism and Intellectual Disability and / or their co-presence has important health, social, and cultural implications – greater and more widespread differentiation helps reduce stereotypes and stigmas and allows more focus on the specific support needs of an individual.
3. Intervention and Therapy Options
Just decades ago, many people with autism were placed in institutions. Professionals were less educated about autism than they are today, and specific services and supports were largely non-existent. The picture is much clearer now. With appropriate services and supports, training and information, children on the autism spectrum will grow, learn and flourish, even if at a different developmental rate than others. The basis is a treatment plan should come from a thorough evaluation of the child’s strengths and weaknesses.
AUTISM AND FAMILY LIFE
4. Parents Challenges in raising a child with autism
Many parents of children on the autism spectrum face many unique challenges. Often witnessed is the struggle of parents to overcome the
grief and loss of dreams they have for their child. It’s not uncommon for parents with a child on the autism spectrum to experience increased
stress and pressure in their marriages. Parents of children with autism often describe feelings such as “overwhelmed, guilty, confused, angry, or depressed.” Share your experience in raising a child with Autism and encourage others.
5. Parents exchange - Training for parents
We would like to engage and encourage families to exchange their life experience and best practices. In our past inclusion conferences we learned that there is a great desire of local and international families to discuss and exchange information and learning from each other. Different countries and different cultures also hold a huge potential for experience exchange and working with professionals in this field.
6. Future Planning
Ensuring quality of life for a loved one with autism requires a care plan with a sound legal and financial foundation. The purpose of a special
needs estate plan is to ensure the economic security and ongoing well-being of your family member, even when you’re no longer able to assume that responsibility.
7. Be proud of your achievements, be proud of who you are
We are inspired by the achievements of other people on the autism spectrum. Seeing people achieve their dreams motivates me to continue
supporting people with the condition.
We want to inspire others to make the most out of life and strive to always be the best they can be. No matter what obstacles life throws at you, you will get by! There’s light at the end of the tunnel – there’s always hope! Be determined – put yourself out there!
8. Seeing Autism form a different perspective
Autism isn’t a one-way relationship where parents teaching the children to live in our world. In many situations, they are teaching the parents to live in their world. Collectively and ideally, families construct their own world and march to their own drum.