Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Autism Awareness Month - How has my awareness changed?

I thought one way to honor my son during autism awareness month is to post a thought each day about what he and his autism have taught me.  How has my awareness improved?  Frankly, I could pop off 30 things off the top of my head but you'd get overwhelmed.  Heck.  Maybe that's the first topic - getting overwhelmed. 

Sensory overload is a big deal for those on the spectrum. For my son.

A few days ago, my other two sons were struggling to understand why their brother was so upset. He was able to communicate to me that there was just too much noise. To you and I, it was just a busy household of kids playing. But, I told his brothers that it was too loud for him. It's easy to empathize a physical handicap. If he had no legs I think we'd more easily understand why the staircase would be frustrating. But, typical noise being too loud for him just didn't really compute for his brothers.   To help them, I suggested that they imagine that everyone around throughout an entire day screamed. All out screaming. Me. Mom. Each other. Friends. Teachers. People at the grocery store. Everywhere. With that imagine in mind, I asked them "How would you feel by dinner time?"

We agreed to try and be more sensitive to his needs.  Headphones aren't always in reach for him so we need to do our best to adjust our actions and our environment.  It's a small modification.

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