Autism; It is a lifelong neurodevelopmental difference that is congenital or appears in the first years of life. It is a developmental disorder that can be expressed as the child’s inability to establish appropriate relationships with others verbally or non-verbally. The cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder is still not fully known even today. It is thought that it is caused by some nervous system problems that affect the structure and functioning of the brain and mostly has a genetic side, and some postnatal and prenatal causes also cause autism. It is diagnosed 4 times more frequently in boys than in girls.
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder basically have two main characteristics.;
The first of these; retardation in social interaction and communication;Indifference to surroundings, unresponsive to sound, toe walking, pause in speech, regression and repetition.
The second is; repetitive movements (turning, rocking, clapping) and limited interests.
-Children with autism are very attached to their routines and react to the changes being made. They are very sensitive to sound, smell and taste. Their developmental differences cause them to interact with the world in a different way. Individuals with autism often experience anxiety and have difficulty distinguishing between sounds.
Autism can be seen at different levels in each individual. Some may be more shy and introverted, while others may be active and extroverted. The vast majority of them communicate only with gestures, facial expressions and symbols, as they cannot talk to others at all.
Correct Known False Corner: ‘ Understanding autismMis-miss dialogues:
So-and-so neighbor’s son has autism.
– Oh well, I hope he gets better.
There is a person with autism or autism in our class.
– How come ? Doesn’t a child with mental illness affect others badly?
Doesn’t autism happen to those gifted and talented people? That’s my uncle’s youngest daughter .
-He should go to the gifted school, then.
So-and-so’s child became autistic because of consanguineous marriage.Yes, that’s exactly why it happened.
Isn’t autism the same thing as Down Syndrome?
Yes, they look the same.This is officially a disease, it should be treated with medicine urgently..
Your friend’s newborn child at work has autism.
-Hmm, he won’t live long.
Being in the same environment with someone with autism is dangerous, it can be contagious . -Then we shouldn’t go near them.
My brother is not autistic, this is his structure, this is how he is.. -He’ll be fine when he grows up.
So-and-so’s child got autism because his mother died.
– It is very difficult without a mother, of course, she got sick right away..
They had a family traffic accident. That’s why he has autism.-There’s a trauma for sure.
People with autism are dangerous, they don’t know what to do when .-Let’s get away when we see it..
My child is constantly looking at the cars turning from the intersection, he definitely has autism.
– So and so was the child of so-and-so, autism appeared. Surely your child is too. You don’t even need to go to the doctor, it’s obvious what’s going on.
Doesn’t this kid have autism?
-Then he can’t speak for sure..
Now let’s take a look at the truth:
Autism is not a disease, it is a developmental difference. There is no cure for autism, but their development can be supported with early diagnosis and intensive and accurate education. Not all individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder are gifted, in fact, many of them have different percentages of mental retardation. Down Syndrome and Autism are two types of differences with very different characteristics. Consanguineous marriage cannot be shown as a cause for autism on its own, but today, the exact cause is still unknown, although it may have genetic basis and is also associated with environmental factors.
Children with autism do not have any metabolic health problems and their life spans vary. Children with autism need support in order to express their feelings and they are more at risk of being exposed to violence than being prone to violence. Children with autism may want to communicate, but it is a very difficult process for them to make sense of the facial expressions of the other person and to distinguish external sounds from speech sounds.
Autism is not a disease or a habit that needs to be corrected, it does not get better when it grows up and does not go away on its own. With early diagnosis and the right education, their development can be well supported, and most of them can develop at the same level as children without autism. Autism Spectrum disorder does not occur after a loss or trauma, autism is a congenital disability. Autism is not contagious, it is not transmitted from person to person, and children with autism have a structure that has difficulty communicating rather than being dangerous. Some children with autism can speak. Speaking skills can be improved with early diagnosis and intensive training.
Just having a repetitive behavior is not enough to say that the child has autism. A doctor’s examination is required.
Autism ‘Blue Planet’
Living is a journey in search of meaning, and trying to make sense of the world is difficult for every human being. Communicating, sharing, expressing an opinion, in short, revealing its existence is a difficult task. For people with autism, it is much more difficult to understand the world, communicate and prove its existence.
However, with a little attention, we can facilitate the interaction of individuals with autism with the world. For this, the first step is to be aware of what Autism is and what it is not. Anyone who is open to learning and listening can reach this awareness. Of course, it is easier to marginalize, to label, much more difficult to understand. But as members of the society, we should all take our responsibility and not leave many autistic children and families alone with us.
There are more than half a million people with autism in Turkey alone. In order to support their struggle, we should live with the awareness of this not just one day, but every day, and when we see an Autistic individual at home, at school, on the street or on the bus, we should make them more visible instead of ignoring them. We should greet them instead of running away, try to understand their world instead of being silent, show the patience, attention and understanding they need to children with Autism and their families instead of ignoring them.
Withholding and preventing the social interaction that children with autism need the most for their development is proof that they lack the leaven of conscience, compassion and empathy that is inherent in being human. Providing the psychological and social support that they and their families need most is the most effective way of making them visible and supporting them. Individuals with autism need us to understand their world, not try to keep up with the world.
‘ Conscious adults raise conscious children. Conscious children improve society.’ Happiness in a healing society is not expensive, anyone can achieve it.
Psychologist İrem Bal