What is Autism?

Have you ever gone and made yourself aware of whatever thing a certain month or day is made to be an awareness day of? I haven’t. And I just realized that. How many times have I seen that a particular day or month is designated as an awareness day for something only to go, huh. Cool. And keep on going with my own life? Do awareness months or days have a real impact on whatever we’re supposed to be aware of? I don’t know. Because I’ve never looked into anything when it comes to an awareness day or month, not even my own disease.

So why am I deciding to actually become aware of Autism? Well, because of this post, which I wrote about in my last post here.

I’ve decided to make it Autism Awareness Month here on the Roof. I never saw this coming, and don’t know what it will entail, but I am going to attempt to write something about Autism every day as I educate myself. You’ve all seen how I get when I decide to write daily haha, so hopefully it will actually happen.

At first I was going to dive into Autism Spectrum Disorders because that’s the only glimpse into Autism I’ve had from Katrin’s blog. But I soon realized I needed to step back and ask myself, what is Autism? I answered, I don’t know. 😉 So off to Google I went.

I typed in “What is Autism?” and once I got passed the sponsored links of everything from books to treatments for sale, I clicked on this search result. Here is the first paragraph:

Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. Less severe cases may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or with Asperger’s Syndrome (these children typically have normal speech, but they have many “autistic” social and behavioral problems).”

That sounds pretty straightforward, but can any of us truly understand what Autism is unless we live it? I know there’s a lot more information out there than what this little paragraph provides, and I’m sure I’ll get into that. But I just really wanted to address this first page I happened upon, because the next little bit kinda threw me:

“It used to be thought that autism is just a fate that you accept.”

That sounds ominous. A fate? This makes me realize that maybe there are severe cases of Autism that may look like a terrible fate. See, already I’m learning something, because from reading about Katrin, I’d never describe it like that.

I’ll be getting more into this, but I have to get my research organized and stuff before I really dive in. But since it’s already the third, I wanted to get this started.

I look forward to learning more about Autism, and I hope you will too, since it’s the month to become aware, and for the first time in my life, I’m actually going to do it.

3 Comments

Filed under Autism, awareness month

3 Responses to What is Autism?

  1. For decades, just like with many other disorders, more severely autistic children and adults were shut up in institutions. It was considered “a fate you just accept.” Now there is more of a movement for inclusion in classrooms, acceptance of people as individuals, more technological aids such as text to speech programs for those who cannot communicate verbally and the world is seeing that even though we may be autistic we still are valued membered of our communities and society. There are conferences for those with ASDs (autism spectrum disorders) such as the annual Autreat and others that are actually for people with ASDs no just their caregivers or drs or families. There are blogs by autistics speaking out about their lives and how they have learned to work in a neurotypical world.

    I think it’s great that you are taking this on to learn more. I hope you learn a lot and can help with education of others at some point. The more people who stop seeing us as “those poor autistics” and start seeing us as people who can and do contribute to society the better!

  2. Ro

    I’ve just barely started learning and already my opinion is that people with autism are highly gifted, intelligent people with a great work ethic. I definitely don’t see it as a fate people should accept. Quite honestly, when I’d see those commercials with the celbrities speaking about autism like it was a death sentence, it made me nauseous. Maybe somewhere in my mind I knew something about it, though how, I don’t know. I’m looking forward to continuing with this, I’ve just gotta get organized lol. I keep jumping all over the place with stuff I find and then I got frustrated with a site using nothing but frames, closed the window, and lost a page with some great stuff. Stupid internet hahaha!

  3. Katrin, what is your opinion of the movie “Mozart and the Whale?” I watched the movie and was fascinated, but maybe it’s a gynormous stinking pile of hooey.

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