Autism Spectral Disorder - The Faces of Autism – Asperger’s

Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

PhilB
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 13 Oct 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 2

14 Oct 2010, 10:12 pm

The faces of autism today do not only include those who have the disorder itself. These faces also include those of the people around that person, specifically the parents and siblings.

When I look around I see these faces regularly. These faces that I see are wrought with frustration, disregard, anger, and sadness. The emotions that are felt around an Asperger’s child span the entire range. They go from wonderful happiness to extreme depression.

When I look at these faces I can understand them, I can feel for them, and I can react to them. Unfortunately the child with Asperger's cannot do the same. They cannot interpret facial expression or body language in the same way that you or I can. Faces and expression are objects that they store in a book in their mind. When a situation presents itself they look through that book to see if they have a response that fits the expression and then they react. Unfortunately the reaction is often not appropriate for the situation or context at hand. This only leads to confusion for them! 90% of what that child does is completely normal, the other 10% is a difficult journey.

When I see frustration in the face of a parent of an “aspy” child I know that they cannot understand why the child is like that or how it’s possible they don’t “get it”.

When I see disregard I can feel that the person has reached a breaking point and now has to pretend like they are indifferent to the child to find a moments peace. I know that in time the disregard takes over and the person becomes callous to the child’s needs in order to avoid the inevitable argument. I know that it is a vicious circle.

When I see anger I understand that a deeper emotion has taken over because the child is being stubborn beyond belief. I see in their face that the child cannot follow the simplest instruction because he/she thinks it should be done a different way. I know that the child has dragged that person into a completely pointless argument about nothing. I know that the only way to stop the situation is to lash out and discipline the child.

In the times when I look into that persons eyes and see sadness I know they are regretting the way that they treated that child. I know they are constantly evaluating whether the behavior at that point in time is the disorder, or a kid being a kid. I know that they look outside and see people that don’t understand this disorder and can’t see the symptoms. I know that they get depressed about the situation and have no idea what to do about it.

My wonderful son Julian has Asperger's Syndrome. Everyday when I look at my wife, I see the face of autism. When I look at my son Cameron, I see the face of autism. When I look in the mirror I see the face of autism. Sadly, I know that in years from now I will look at the face of my daughter Sarah and see the face of autism. These spectral disorders not only affect the child, it affects everyone around them.

As any parent of a child with Asperger’s understands… When it comes to living with this disorder, and you feel that you can’t see the forest for the trees, take comfort in the fact that one day perhaps the child by your side will know EXACTLY how many trees there are in that forest, what kinds they are, how old they are, their average height, sap production rate and life span!! It will all work out in the end…. The path that leads to the end is not an easy one but we will get there!

PhilB



PhilB
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 13 Oct 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 2

14 Oct 2010, 10:13 pm

I wanted to post this note. I wrote this yesterday when my son was having a bad day. I hope others will learn from it or better understand.
Thanks,
PhilB



bjtao
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 449

15 Oct 2010, 9:09 am

I absolutely love your note. It is great and I am sure applies to many people.

For others, like myself, the anger, depression, etc...that comes with an ASD child is not due to behaviors, lack of understanding, etc... it comes from dealing with the medical community, school, insurance companies, the exceptional financial burden and other family members.



catbalou
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 137

15 Oct 2010, 3:42 pm

I found this moving and very eloquently put, and can relate to it completely.



willaful
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Mar 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 786

16 Oct 2010, 1:02 pm

Another face of autism - the mom who hugs her child with extra fervor, because she cherishes every speck of attention/affection she gets from him.


_________________
Sharing the spectrum with my awesome son.