Monday, December 17, 2007

autism and reading

december 17 2007

I haven't met a father or a mother of a kid with a clear form of autism spectrum disorder yet, who enjoyed doing groceries.

It's a burden, because people judge parents and children at face value.

That a child keeps asking for sweets and throwns a fit when it doesn't get some, or when a parent gives in, knowing the whole store will comment on the meltdown that follows... it's all subject for people to comment.

We, parents. should be more firm, have a better system of punishment, and our kids will listen better.

Forget it!

These children have a handicap, and like people without legs who can never walk, our children can learn only to a certain level, but they'll never the perfect child.

Oh yes, we all wish we had the perfect child.
Life would be so easy.

Apart from 4 handicapped children I have two perfectly normal kids, and I can tell you, they're easy to deal with.
When they do something that's not allowed, I ask them to come to me. We sit down, and we have a conversation untill it's understood what's not acceptable and untill the child understands what I expect.

Punishment is almost never used, because I only need to warn once. That's it.

Autistic children can be treated that way.
When they have a good day they might even understand what I mean, and tell me they will try to behave as a good kid.
But trying in itself can generate so much stress, that they can't deal with it.

Interesting is that they can learn something in one situation, but have to relearn it in another situation.

They perceive the world completely different from moment to moment.

Life is a constant struggle for them and for those who care for them.


Remember I wrote the other day that my sons had to finish paper about a book and that I really didn't feel like helping out?

Someone called me a teenager.

Which is ofcourse a compliment when you're 51.

But it wasn't intended to be a compliment. Not at all.

Like the people in the shops, this person jumped to a conclusion and thought that I needed feedback on my writing.

After dealing with so much the last weeks, after 21 years dealing with kids with autism, I don't need feedback like that.

I was told to take a course, so I could teach my kid to read a book.
Even more: then autistics are able to function as normal people too.

Well, if they could they don't need to be labeled "autistic".

Autism is a neurobiological disorder.
Autistic people perceive the world different , and experience the world far different than we do.
They have problems communicating because they can't see the emotions of others, can't deal with the emotions of others.
And they have a lot of other problems too.

Reading a book is for some of them very difficult, because they have no imagination like we do.
When we read a book, there's an inner movie fed all the time, and we get curious of the writer has imagined the same course and end of the book then we do.
Autistic people lack the imagination, they don't feel the expectancy, the thrill.
We feel the tension between two people in a book, we understand feelings.
Autistic people don't.

Books are one long list of facts that somehow relate to each other.

The school my autistic boy attends has told all the teachers that he shouldn't be confronted with a whole book, because it's simply too much.
He needs help to understand each page, so each page is a struggle.

The treacher involved doesn't care.

So I need to read each and every book, and try to find ways to make him feel involved.

It would be far more easy with short stories. But that teacher just doesn't care.

After weeks of being bussy 20 hours a day (I sleep only 4 hours), caring for 6 children, I'm not a teenager when I'm not prepared to read yet another book to please a non-caring ignorant teacher, I'm just a mom who is too tired and who could do with some understanding for her son.

Well, I'm glad I have some online friends who care. And I'm glad my son will go to a school soon, where they truly understand the struggle of each and every day of kids like these and parents like me.

It'll be a relief to help some of my other children to make their homework and meet normal understanding.



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1 comment:

  1. Sorry, maybe what i want to say didn't exactly come out the way i want. guess i wasn't really thinking clearly.

    anyway, sorry if i hurt you a lot. i just heard that there are courses teaching people how to cope with autistic children, that's all. just it didn't come out the way i want.

    once again, i'm sorry for the hurt i have caused.

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