I'm watching something on TV about autism. It's showing a segment about the police and interactions with autistic people. A man is a trainer for police departments on how to deal with people with autism. People can sometimes mistake autistic tendencies with other things such as being under the influence. It has happened that police officers have killed a person with autism because there had been a misunderstanding from both the autistic person and the police. I really hope the more and more police departments are trained to deal and recognize people with autism.
When we started on our long journey to finding out what was going on with Brother, we started with a psychologist. The psychologist was supposed to be an expert and autism wasn't even on his radar. Brother knocked over all the chess pieces in his chess set. He wanted Brother to pick it all up, but Brother chose not to. He wasn't being defiant. I think at that point he had shut down so it was difficult to get him to process any instructions especially then. The doctor told me he thought Brother had ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). If a doctor can make this sort of mistake, imagine the kinds of mistakes a police officer can make.
There have always been debate on whether to label a child with a disability. A common argument against labeling a child is that the child will be hindered. I don't take that view at all. If my son wants to go on to college, then he is at a distinct disadvantage as he is at all times. Most places have allowances for special needs. A diagnosis will help not hinder. Now, I know that once he goes off to work he's on his own. I know that he will have to find a job where he will do his absolute best without having to use his autism as a crutch to not do a good job.
My biggest worry in life, besides whether or not we will all make it to heaven, is who will take care of Brother when I'm no longer able? I hate to burden his sisters, but they'll have to be there. I know, he can take care of himself. He is pretty high functioning. However, he probably will need some guidance at all times.
Brother knows he has autism, but he doesn't understand exactly what it is. His sisters don't quite understand either.
He doesn't always understand what happens in social situations, but he knows sort of what's going on. He has noticed that the boys his age don't play or speak to him. He also notices that his friends, in a group situation don't always include him. His lack of social skills is one of his biggest obstacles. Saturday morning had me comforting him as he cried about the boys not letting him play their games because they said he didn't play well enough. And, I admit to getting angry for him when these same boys surrounded him while he was playing on the Nintendo DS. Until we can prayerfully discern otherwise, we will be stepping back from group activities. I just can't put my son into situations where he will be hurt. It's not necessarily a malicious things as a careless thing.
Another of our biggest obstacles is his inability to read and follow a story. He can't figure out what's going on. Picture books are great as are comics, but he needs to be able to read more than that.
Boy, that was a depressing 7 Quick Takes. And, it's my final autism post of this month. I've had a lot of the real dealing with life and autism being the only parent home for now. I'm hoping next year will be better for Autism Awareness Month.
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