Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Working With Autism
I've debated on writing about working with Autism. It would be less of a book about Autism, and more about the people without Autism learning how to cope. My main focus would be siblings of someone with Autism, since I am one, and I never found a book that could help. Anyway, I thought up a bit of a prologue to the book while driving home today:
For reasons unknown, I will invite you into the world of Autism. This is a venture that is more internal than external. Autism is like many things in this world, you have to work at it, but unlike most things, you never get a break. It is always present in your daily routine and it does affect you. The first lessons I have learned in this experience involved just how human I am. I cannot be perfect, and I cannot try to fix everything. Even today I forget these details and continue to be too hard on myself. The most important lesson I learned was this, the trick to coping with an Autistic person is to separate them from the Autism. Impulses are not part of my brother's personality. This is easier said than done. You can forget this in the moment when "melt downs" occur and people stare at you like you have no idea how to handle a situation. It is then that you must keep in mind your own perspective. They really have no idea what you're going through. If they judge, it is their problem. Another important trick is to use perseverance. Think of the journey like a mountain hike. The goal to reach the top urges you forward and guides you through each step. Again, this is easier said than done, but the more you practice, the easier it gets. Another tip and this is actually important, be yourself. You need to take a break every once in awhile. Five minutes can work wonders on your mind when you can't figure out a problem. So why am I writing this? Because this is my life, and I know I'm not the only one. Siblings of someone with Autism are often overlooked in books and even in the process of therapy. But sometimes those siblings need to remember that they are also important. Working with Autism is difficult, but it isn't impossible. What matters are your priorities and goals.