A mum we know whose child may be autistic was recently asked whether her parents, the child’s grandparents, would understand an autism diagnosis.
The mum wasn’t sure, and her companion remarked that she doubted the grandparents would understand.
The connotations were that in their day, no one (outside of psychiatry circles), had heard of autism. Children of different neurologies were unkindly labelled at school, and you just had to get on with the card you were dealt.
But this got us thinking; no matter what your level of understanding, awareness and education about autism, and no matter whether you are an active computer user and are au-fait with the tools available on the internet, surely not understanding autism is a choice?
Most people do not understand physiological or neurological conditions unless we are involved somehow in the field – in fact few of us understand in a true sense the vast majority of topics, unless we have studied them.
But when you need to learn about something, most of us have the capacity and the resources to do our best and find out more. Not understanding autism is a luxury parents of autistic children are not afforded. Gaining education and awareness about the condition that affects your loved ones is surely a priority?
The importance of learning more about the condition applies to lots of people surrounding an autistic individual, and ideally family members and anyone involved in their education should endevour to find out more. There are plenty of simple, bullet point resources outlining the very basics of autism (e.g. the main challenges the individuals face, and how to support them at home, and in the school or workplace environment) available; not just online, but also in libraries. The National Autistic Society is a good place to start – http://www.autism.org.uk.
And even if some of the library books may not be completely up-to-date or concise, the library staff are usually very happy to help with research, and accessing and printing information sourced online. It really feels that not understanding something is a bit of a cop-out. None of us are educated about anything, unless we go out and seek to improve our knowledge base!
A little disclaimer – here at Spectra.blog we don’t claim to be experts about Autism; the information we post here is based purely on our own exposure and experiences. We’d also love your feedback on our posts!
Also published on Medium.