My topic for healthbuzz is “autism.” I chose this topic because last year when I lived in the US, my class watched a movie about a woman named Temple Grandin, who was an autistic person. She used her autism to understand how animals felt and she helped with a plan to make a cattle fence that would help the cattle to not feel terrified. Today she is an American professor of animal science.
My research on autism helped me understand that everyone is created differently and we should respect those differences. Autistic people never asked to be autistic; how we are born is something that we can’t change.
Autism affects teenagers because some teenagers are autistic, so we should know what struggles they are facing and why they are the way they are. That would help us understand that they can’t help acting the way they do and that we shouldn’t make fun of them.
There are quite a lot of things I learned about autism while doing my research. One thing I learned is the actual definition of the condition, which I wasn’t exactly sure about before. Autism is a disorder that some people are born with or develop early in life, and it affects the way they behave and also their social and communication skills. Autistic people find it very hard to socialize and talk with others and probably have some trouble with making friends. The reason for this problem is because the brains of autistic people are wired differently from ours, so they have a different way to view the world.
Another thing I learned is the way an autistic person might act. These include repetitive movements such as pacing, hand flapping, body rocking, and spinning in circles. Autistic kids might have no interest in pretend games, like most kids are when they are little. They may also resist being picked up and cuddled and they avoid eye contact. They might have unusual obsessions, things that most people aren’t that interested in, like train timetables and lists, which are pretty boring to most people. It is highly likely that an autistic person will have some difficulty with words and communicating, so they might say something but not understanding what it is that they are saying. If they want attention or are angry about something, autistic people might hurt themselves by banging their head or hitting their face.
The last thing that I learned about autism is that it’s based on genetics. In between identical twins, if one of them is autistic, there is a 80-90% chance that the other might be too. But between non identical twins and normal siblings, there is only a 3-10% chance that both of them are going to get affected.
My thoughts about this issue is that us non autistic people should make an effort to help autistic people feel comfortable and safe in the environment. Try to include them in games and lunch. Inviting them to join you in something would make them feel wanted and they might also make an effort to communicate with you and talk to you.
My thinking about autism has changed when I did all this research on autism because I used to think that an autistic person would wouldn’t be very smart, but it turns out that they are. They are just looking at the world in a way that we don’t. That definitely doesn’t affect that person’s intelligence.