The world autism awareness day blog!
Hello everyone, welcome back to a special episode of Aspire. So what has happened in the world of Thomas this week? The big ticket thing that has happened this week is World Autism Awareness Day. I made my way down to Manly to participate in Aspect’s scavenger hunt. Not only that, I was also interviewed by Ten News. You can check that interview tonight at 5pm…
World Autism Awareness day, or WAAD for short, is celebrated on the 2nd of April every year. Not only that, April is also known as World Autism Month (or WAM for short). So there is black history month in America, the madi gras parade and days for us to remember like ANZAC day; but what makes celebrating people with autism important? The Centres for Disease and Control has estimated that 1 in 68 children in the US have been identified to be on autism spectrum. Now we can’t take this as fact because there are other studies worldwide that suggest a different rate. However, it does get you thinking about rising numbers of people being diagnosed wtih autism.
Temple Grandin once said that if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool you would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socialising and not getting anything done. I think this is a brilliant quote because people on the spectrum have a different way of thinking. I think this is why we had the likes of Albert Einstein and Bill Gates; minds that pursued their passions not letting their faults, whatever they may be, let them down. We may be different, but not less.
A Parental Opinion
On today’s blog I talk to Adam Toms about what it is like to have a child on the spectrum, his song and other musings.
“As Mitch started growing up in the world, we didn’t know he had Aspergers. We thought it was the terrible 2s, and just that it was a severe case of them. We were asking ‘is it really supposed to be like this?’ Some of the episodes were really intense. The autism topic didn’t come up until March last year, during kindergarten. For the previous couple of months the staff had been taking notes and observing the kids, including Mitch. They called us in and brought it to our attention and recommended that it was something we should check out. So we went to the paediatrician and some external resources and we ended up with a final diagnosis by November last year.
The relationship between Mitch and I is the only one I know. There is nothing else to compare it to because that’s the one I have and that the one I live with every day.
Mitchel’s attention span is a lot like most other kids. He will spend a couple of minutes strumming a guitar or playing with the drum kit. Like most people on the spectrum he is very sensitive with his hearing. If he is not in control with it, he doesn’t want anything to do with it. He understands music and what I do. When I go to play at a gig he will always ask me if I will get any money! I always tell him that I am going to go sing and make people happy and he understands that’s what I do.
Riley our second son is turning 3 this month and we have started the same process of diagnosis with him.
For the parents that are having trouble with trying to understand their child on the spectrum I would say: read a lot, go to workshops, and research as much as you can.
My Two Cents
Growing up without knowing I had a condition, I didn’t really recognise many instances where there were people on the spectrum. I guess my first experience with Autism was watching Boston Legal. I saw a man by the name of Jerry Espensen, a socially inept individual brilliantly show off his legal mind. He had ways of coping with his anxieties, even though some of those methods seemed a bit aggravating to others. Little did I know a few weeks later I would be asked about the very thing that would affect my life.
Even though I was proud of my Aspergers I guess I was still a bit unsure about whether it was a good thing to have or not. The first time I met Berinda Karp she congratulated me on having Aspergers. I was bewildered, what on earth did she mean? Congratulating me on something I have; I didn’t earn it.
Over the past few years I have become a big fan of our community. We are continuously growing and developing in the world. But the world itself is doing the same thing. So we need to become more than what we already are, so that maybe one day we can all live a life of harmony.
If you missed the Ten news item, you can still catch it here http://tenplay.com.au/news/national/2014/4/2/understanding-autism
I see people on the spectrum achieve great things around the world, from Susan Boyle becoming a singer known around the world, to Dan Harmon making it in the Television industry with his show “Community”. I would like to say more but alas that’s just a teaser for next week. The minds of those on the spectrum are truly fantastic; they aren’t just the minds that work in Silicon Valley but in everyday life. Sure our communication skills might not be the best but when our minds go on task there is nothing shy of a supernova that can stop us!
That just about wraps it up for this week. Just a bit of news from last week’s topic, This was sent by reader Jade - an interesting article on Autism and Learning! http://themotherlist.com/mother-tore-label-nurtured-sons-hidden-genius/ . So remember folks, Donkey Kong may need barrels, Tony Stark may need the Arc Reactor but all an Aspie needs, is their mind!
All of the proceeds from Adam's single 'I wouldn't change a thing' and 50% of the proceeds from his album are going to Aspect. Click here for more.
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