Seven Things You Should Know About Autism
- Autism is a complex developmental disability that on average, affects one in 110 children. This disability is on the rise and has grown exponentially since the 1980s.
- Due to these numbers, almost everyone is affected in one way or another by autism. You might have a family member that has autism, you might work with someone that has been diagnosed with autism, or you might know the boy down the street that is on the autism spectrum. Regardless of where you fall in these scenarios, wouldn’t it be advantageous to know how to optimally interact with these individuals? They’re interesting. They have talents. It will benefit you to get to know them! If Einstein and Michelangelo were alive today, most likely they would be diagnosed with autism!
- Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and consists of a certain set of behaviors. Autism is a “spectrum disorder” affecting the ability to communicate and interact with others in varying degrees.
- Autism is a treatable condition. Early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. While these individuals will not outgrow their autism, they can still become functioning adults and contributors to society.
- When you think of autism do you think of children? Since autism started exploding in the mid-eighties, many of these children are now approaching adulthood. This results in a new myriad of questions for the parents of these individuals and for the community as a whole. As parents, you might wonder if your children can go to college (they can), if they can obtain/maintain a job (they can), and if they can form important relationships with the opposite sex (another affirmative response). As an employer, you might be concerned about hiring someone with autism. In what type of positions might the individual excel? The answer is simple–MANY!
- A child with autism can certainly benefit from homeschooling. This is because homeschooling allows for one-on-one interactions, the flexibility of changing subjects and teaching/learning styles to meet a student’s needs, and the ability to honor the sensory and dietary needs of the child’s environment (especially important).
- If your child is not on the autism spectrum, but you attend homeschooling support group activities, your child has probably come in contact with children on the spectrum. This gives you the unique opportunity to teach your child acceptance and empathy for individuals diagnosed with autism—and in fact, for anyone considered special needs.
Of course, there is So much to be learned about autism–but this is a start.