About the Author
- MJ Williams
- Plainville, CT, United States
- Having achieved my goal of becoming a published author, I contribute it to the fact that I have been writing since the age of 9. My boys were the inspiration for my children's stories and my life is the inspiration for my autobiography. I have a tendency to write about whatever I feel, relevant, interesting or not. I welcome any comments you may have, positive or constructive. Thank you so much for visiting and following my blog, My life.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Society vs. ASD-Ignorance at its Best-Part I
Autism. That word can send shivers down the spine of steel. But what is it really? You know, with all the research and development, theories and probabilities, I don't think anyone really knows. Sure they can all speculate but do they really know what Autism is?
Now excuse me if I am not politically correct on a lot of terms, I am not an expert. I am just a mom. And my son has Autism.
The general consensus on Autism is that the child or individual cannot function in society, can not speak, is disruptive and cannot process the simplest of things. This strikes fear in many people. All that they see is someone that is different. They do not see the extraordinary person that is inside. They do not know that loving individual who does not have the capacity to hate. They do not know that generally intelligent individual who, if for lack of a better term, has a brain that has a short circuit somewhere and is in need of a software upgrade. An upgrade that has yet to be written.
Many people do not realize that autistic individuals are intelligent. Those individuals that appear to "not be able to process anything" are in fact processing everything. They lack the ability to separate and block out that which is not important or significant at the moment. Put yourself in their shoes. You are at work in a busy office. You hear all the phones that are ringing, you hear each individual having a conversation on their phone, you hear the clicking of pens, the sipping of coffee, the voices of co-workers walking by, staplers stapling, etc. all simultaneously. YOU CANT MAKE IT STOP! You cant sort everything out and you can't find your voice in all that jumble. All you can do is blurt out a word or two, a noise here and there to express yourself. You want to tell someone that you love them but all you can manage is a verbal blurb. Its not an easy life for AI's (Autistic Individuals), But because we don't understand them, we shun them because they seem "different".
That's the extreme level on the Autism Spectrum.
Over the years there have been many diagnosis of different levels of functioning with Autism. So now the diagnosis is not "Autism" but "Autism Spectrum Disorder" or ASD. Different levels of functioning. We go from low functioning, such as an extreme case of Autism to the high functioning Aspergers Syndrome/Disorder. These AI's, seem normal in all aspects of their functioning. They just get labeled as lazy, sloppy, stinky, dumb, weird and dopey. Enter Erik. My son.
Most children are diagnosed with Autism when they are young. Around 4 or 5 years of age. Instead, Erik was diagnosed as psychotic, delusional, bipolar, and oh yes. Lets not forget the universal "we really don't know what is wrong" diagnosis.....ADD. Keep in mind that Autism was not amongst the realm of possibilities because Erik was a normal kid. He wasn't stupid. He had a high IQ. He had an extensive vocabulary. He didn't have outbursts for what seemed like no apparent reason. He could function. So we just go with whatever we can find that might fit the symptoms at the time.
To make a long story short, Erik did not receive the correct services when he was going through school. I brought up Aspergers time and time again but the district stood their ground. He didn't have autism. He was normal.
Finally, after gathering enough information, I took him to a private psychiatrist. He interviewed Erik and myself individually, then together. I took a test, filled in some bubbles. He gave Erik some tests. Guess what the diagnosis was? Aspergers Syndrome/Disorder. Along with PDD. FINALLY the diagnosis that would help my son. But did it come too late?
For Erik, implementing services when he was in high school was going to be tricky. I knew I had a lengthy battle on my hands and I also knew that I wasn't going to be able to fight this battle on my own.........