Autism – Holly

Paragraph 1-

Why Autism?

I chose autism to be my topic because I know three people with it. However, I haven’t seen them in a while/I am not close to them, so I do not know much about them. Their actions have been different to others’ around me, so naturally, I was curious as to why. Another reason I chose Autism is that I have read a few books on people with Asperger’s, and I wanted to know more. The last reason I wanted to study autism, was because I have always been interested in disabilities and differences, and I know autism is quite common (amongst mental disorders), so I chose to learn about that. Before doing this project, I thought that people with Autism couldn’t express any emotion, but now I know that they can express emotion, but they just have a hard time reading others’ emotions. I also thought that once you have autism, you always have it, but now I know that this isn’t the case and occasionally people do get rid of it. This connects to previous learning because last year we were assigned book clubs and mine was about a girl with autism. I knew a little about the subject beforehand, and so I had a small head-start on this project, but now I know even more about it because of the research I have done. Also, a personal connection I have is how I know people with autism, and teachers have to adapt their lessons to help this person. Also, one of my parents’ friends has two kids who are autistic. Their mother was unable to work for 5-6 years, and the government gave her money to get her kids into therapy every day. The older sibling, with less severe autism, is now fully able to go to school by herself (but still has learning support) and the younger one still has to go to therapy, but the mother is now able to work. This affects teenagers because there are multiple resources that show ways of helping children with autism, but almost none that deal with teenagers and autism. A teens life is considerably harder than a child’s life (because of anxiety/schoolwork/relationships with peers) without autism. Now put it into perspective. You can’t read others’ emotions well, and you show behaviours that other people may find ‘weird’ or ‘disturbing’. On top of that, you also have to deal with schoolwork and everything else that teens have to deal with. You can help these people by just being a little more accepting and understanding of their situation, and not join in those who aren’t as accepting.

Paragraph 2-

What did I learn?

I learned that there are four types of autism, each one falling on a spectrum. The main thing about this is how everyone with autism is different. When you meet a new autistic person, they will certainly have different autistic tendencies to the last autistic person you met, and that these people will be different. You can’t classify all autistic people together like you can’t classify all humans together. We all have different aspects and traits that stand out. Also, there is no cause towards autism. Some things may affect the baby a little, but all in all, when you have autism there is not really a reason why. Some misconceptions about autism are that autistic people have no feelings, and autistic people can’t read others’ feelings. These aren’t true, and autistic people are capable of feeling everything you are capable of feeling. Autistic people may not understand you are sad via body language or sarcasm/tone of voice, but if you make it clear, they know what to do. There isn’t a solution to autism, but some medicines can help the person to focus more or stop them fidgeting, etc.. However, to help the autistic person feel more comfortable in a specific environment, you can be accepting towards them, and help others feel the same as you.

This picture connects to autism because really, autistic people aren’t that different. (Most of) They can walk, eat, and sleep just like us. Most of the time, on the outside, you cannot distinguish an autistic person from anybody else. They have passions too, and they have feelings too. This picture represents that because autism comes in all shapes and sizes, and overall, the people aren’t that different to us.

Insomnia – Mikela

I chose to do insomnia because I know a few people in my family who have insomnia. Another reason why I chose insomnia is that I know that it has a big effect on teens or at least teens that have insomnia. Finally, I wanted to do this because it is one of the main sleeping disorders and I was always really interested to know what it was. Before doing this project all I knew about insomnia was that it is a sleeping disorder that people can have. I think that it is important to research about this because insomnia can happen when you are a teenager and to know the causes of insomnia could be very useful once I am a teenager. This is also how this topic could eventually affect me. Even if I am a no longer a teenager this could possibly be something that I experience this but throughout adulthood. I could be experiencing different cases of insomnia and to have already understood what insomnia really is will help me.

The main thing that I learned about insomnia is that it is uncontrollable but the best chances of not experiencing insomnia are to have good sleeping habits and a good sleep cycle. One of the main causes of insomnia is because you have irregular sleeping habits, now that I understand how important they are, I will try to maintain good sleeping habits. I used to think that if someone had insomnia it would mean that they would be experiencing it every night but now I know that there are different types of insomnia and it is possible to only experience it for a certain amount of time.

There is more than one solution towards the different stages of insomnia although one of the best long-term solutions is to find the cause of insomnia and try to solve insomnia based on that. Although another solution which would be advised for short-term insomnia is to take sleeping aids so that it would just be fast to fall asleep and to stay asleep, it shouldn’t be used for long-term insomnia. Before doing this project, I had already known the importance of sleeping but now seeing the effects of insomnia make me realize that without sleep it will affect your overall wellness in all 6 areas.

A teenager having trouble falling asleep.