It is 6 AM in the morning and I didn’t sleep this night just to make sure I don’t miss some important work in the morning. To make my night productive, I worked mostly and read some articles online. I came across one article about World Autism Awareness Week 2018 on HuffPost.in that astonished me. While I know what autism is, I certainly did not have the slightest idea that there is an annual awareness campaign aimed to make people understand autism in a better way so that autistic people can stay comfortable in public places. So, I am glad to have stayed awake this night and found this article, and without wasting a single second I opened the blog’s back-end and started writing.
World Autism Awareness Week is observed between 26th March – 2nd April every year.
So what is Autism Spectrum Disorder aka Autism?
Autism involves challenging conditions in a person’s everyday life. Autistic people have trouble communicating with people, they get uncomfortable around crowded places and loud noises, and have some behavioral differences.
Autism is not a mental disorder
Only 1/3rd people with autism show signs of intellectual deficiency. Autistic people are just like normal people, they can study, work, and stay competitive.
Sings of autism
Children start showing symptoms of autism as early 2-3 years of age, even sooner in some cases.
Some of the common symptoms are:
- Less or no interest in others’ life/emotions.
- A great deal of interest or liking towards limited areas. E.g.: Some people like to read, so they won’t do anything else besides reading all day.
- Speech delay.
- Learning disability or slow learning.
- Sensitivity to crowded places, loud noises, loud sounds, etc.
- Difficulty in socializing.
So why am I writing about World Autism Awareness Week?
Autistic persons live a hard life. Although they can be as intelligent as people who are not autistic, the lack of socializing, discomfort around people and loud noises are a nightmare for them. Imagine being in your worst nightmare and then waking up. This happens to them and they don’t wake up to finally put an end to it, they have to bear it for the entire duration. If they re on a bus, subway, or even a shopping mall with loud music, it becomes unbearable for them.
So, as responsible citizens of this planet, we should and must know about autism and the agonizing pain of autistic persons. Only if we know what autism is and what it does to autistic people, can we help them. We can turn the volume down a bit to ease them, we can not look at them directly because they do not prefer eye contact. We can just give them their own space in a crowded place and let them know that we care about them, and we are there for them.
Please watch the dreadful condition of an autistic girl names Saskia Lupin when she boards the subway (Documentary- Diverted, by The National Autistic Society). Autism stops you from even stepping outside your home because autistic persons know what will they have to go through if they step out. It is only a 1-minute film, yet it made an impact in my life equivalent to any good film.
Be humble, be well-informed, be helpful
If you think your child is showing symptoms of autism, then I suggest you consult with a doctor and do some of your research. Children suffering from autism won’t be comfortable sitting in a crowded classroom and learn something. If you are worried about your child’s academic performance, then get a home tutor for academics from this learning portal or just download this home tuition app to get a home tuition for almost any course.