Thursday, 11 April 2013

something very close to my heart

April is Autism Awareness Month, and is a cause really close to my heart. I teach kids with disabilities, and over the past few years half the kids I have taught have had an autism diagnosis.

Whether due to environmental factors, or better diagnosis, the incidence of people being diagnosed with Autism or Aspergers is growing at an alarming rate (it is defiantly NOT caused by immunisation). Around 1 in 110 people is diagnosed with Autism. At that rate you will likely know someone in your life who is affected by autism. 

Autism is incredibly misunderstood. It affects peoples social and communication skills, and often people with autism react differently to sensations. They may require a lot of sensory input to get a response, or they may be very sensitive to light, to noises, to smells.

The autism spectrum is a scale-and I have experienced kids who are very high functioning, to those at the other end of the scale, who are non verbal, have severe intellectual impairments and-whether through frustration, anxiety or due to sensory needs-can be violent to themselves or others. 

I'm incredible lucky to have found a job I love so much. The kids I work with every day are amazing. It isn't without it's challenges-it's often loud, always busy and can get a little crazy most days. I take my hat off to the parents of all kids with disabilities.It's my job to help these kids-and all the kids I teach-become as independent as they are capable of being, to learn to handle their emotions in a positive way and deal with what life throws up. 

The kids I teach are incredible. The world doesn't make sense to them, and is full of things they don't understand. They are made to do things that they don't want to do, and rules are broken all of the time. Things are unpredictable. Yet they develop relationships, they play games, make me laugh, they are CHEEKY. They come to school-most days at least-happy and WANTING to learn. 

Autism Awareness Month isn't about 'curing' autism, it's helping people living with autism in their lives feel less alone, less like they need to hide their child, their sibling, their disorder away. It's bringing autism out from behind closed doors. 

Source -a blue Opera House for World Autism Awareness Day


  1. This is a beautiful post! I went through school with a girl with Aspbergers, it was eye opening x


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