This week I asked my fellow tweeters what they would like me to blog about. My favourite suggestion was to tell everyone about the positive aspects of Autism, and there are many.
I will be doing this on the last Saturday of every month so if anyone has any positive stories to tell then let me know.
This week many of the stories will come from my own experiences with both adults and children who are autistic.
First of all there is the lovely little boy I worked with last year. The teachers had just about given up on him and decided that he was impossible to teach. I saw a lot of potential and told his mum that I though he was very clever and had a lot to offer. He is a very loving child who loves cuddles and kisses, his face lights up when he sees someone he knows and likes and he will run over and give them the biggest hug possible. I don’t work with him now, but still stay in touch and now he can read and write. He can do the same level of maths as the rest of his age group. He is just a lovely little boy who is a pleasure to be with.
Next comes the story of another young man I supported. He was 16 when I worked with him. Although non-verbal he was very good at showing you what he wanted or needed, once you understood him. He developed independence skills and was able to make his breakfast and would make tea and coffee for staff if you asked him to. My favourite memories are of him wanting his hair played with, he would come over to me and drop his head so I could play with his hair, he would then stand up and start running through the house literally bouncing off the walls squealing with delight. I am unsure if he ever learnt speech, but he would shout “Ai ee o” when I was not on duty, other staff thought he was shouting my name; his first word at the age of 16. Amazing young man.
Another young lady I currently work with is 15. Very shy, and who rarely speaks to others. I only see her once or twice a week for a few minutes, but again her face lights up when I walk into the room. She smiles and nods her head when I ask if she is ok. She will be sitting exams in the next few months, this though terrifies her, but if I sit with her in the room she will do them and she will succeed.
I could go on but the blog would be too long and people would get fed up reading. But I do have a few more stories to tell you. This is not me but a twitter friend. She has been tweeting over Christmas about her son’s first words. Her tweets made me cry as I could feel the pride and joy in her words as her son started to ask for things using words. Another twitter mum posted a video of her daughter singing and signing a Christmas song, another very proud mum. Finally a mum posted a picture her son had drawn about what Autism feels like for him, it was such a powerful picture. I saved it as well as re-tweeting it.
In my mostly neuro typical world I am constantly amazed and in awe of the people I meet on twitter an in life who constantly overcome difficulties so they can be rewarded by the amazing achievements of their children. Children who may have been abandoned by society or education, who are tossed between different services as if they are a basketball in a fast moving game. These families are amazing and wonderful. When I read your stories my heart fills with joy and they keep me doing what I do. Everyone needs to see the positives.