Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Insight of an Eleven year old Autistic boy!

Home educating a special needs child can be exhausting.Autism in particular can be difficult to fathom out at times. Thankfully however home education offers the opportunity to observe and understand your child's difficulties and help them with life skills in a far more practical way as and when they happen.
Take today for instance, my son has had a very difficult couple of days.Today however he was far more cheerful and I was able to ask him why his body seemed to shut down when he was placed in a stressful situation such as a busy place or noisy supermarket. I pointed out that he often appeared to become deaf, was unable to speak and began to walk although he had a limp. My son was surprised. He wasn't aware that that happened.
He told me that he didn't like talking to people he didn't know as it made him feel uncomfortable. I suggested that he could explain to them (without getting angry) that he had Aspergers and that if they didn't mind he didn't like talking to people. That . he said , made them  talk to him as though he couldn't understand him which he found very condescending. I admitted that it was and laughed as he academically  far cleverer than most of the people I know. I then asked him what it was about using a wheelchair in the garden centres and supermarkets we go to that relaxes him? Precisely that people didn't speak to him because they thought he had a learning disability, he answered. Instead they looked over his head as though he weren't there and spoke to me instead! My son has learned a valuable lesson about disability discrimination and  has turned it around and used it to his advantage! I too have learned that he is gradually finding strategies to cope with his hidden disability. All to often in the past he has experienced the prejudices suffered by those who have an invisible disability which can put you at a huge disadvantage. He has so often been judged by people, professional or otherwise  who have misunderstand his actions and straightforward talking for rudeness. Wheelchairs have for him given him 'a cloak of invisability' so that he can get on with his life in his own particular way! That's my boy.....

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