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.
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.