Stigma of Autistic children

Posted on February 29, 2016 12:10 am

There’s need for society to recognize the existence and rights of individuals with autism.I have two relatives whose kids are living with autism and stigmatization autistic people face is unfathomable.The idea that autistic people are no different from others remains a hard sell to people especially in developing world where majority of the populations believes the autism is rich world’s problem.No doubt autistic people often face stigmatization.Children with autism were the most vulnerable to stigmatization and discrimination by the community, particularly in mainstream schools. Most autistic children who go to these schools become victims of bullying and are looked down on by school administrators.In one study conducted in South Africa last year, autistic children were very sensitive, and taunts and ridicule would only make them more severely introverted and shy.Teachers need to provide non-autistic students with sufficient knowledge about autism and encouraging them to be more accepting could be the first effective step in eliminating prejudice against autistic students.The greatest group of people to counter the prejudices against children with autism are the parents, and the mothers in particular.This is because autism would always remain a stigma in society unless more and more people did something to defy the misconceptions surrounding the condition.It’s an everyday battle to spread the word about autism, especially to those who tend to think autistic kids are obnoxious.The stigma attached to autism came from the widely held misconception that it was a disease yet the truth is that people don’t get afflicted with autism because It’s a disorder.A wealth of evidence from studies conducted about autism that currently exists suggest that autistic children who are exposed to early behavioral interventions will lead happier and more productive lives.

One study I read recently indicated that some doctors don’t feel comfortable diagnosing children with autism until they are five years old, but by then it is too late to intervene effectively. However, eighteen months is the optimum age to begin therapy.Those diagnosed with autism at that age, should undergo intensive therapy for at least two years.The kid can then go to school and be indistinguishable from peers, be happy and have healthy relationships with fellow pupils.Autism is a neurological dysfunction that is severely incapacitating. Autistic people are diverse, yet share three common behavioral characteristics such as social difficulties, impaired communication skills and specific behavioral patterns.Autistic children often show little interest in other people.Impaired communication skills are a second characteristic common to autistic people, 50 percent of whom never develop spoken language skills.Autistic people also display specific behavioral patterns. They find change distressing and develop repetitive motor mannerisms.Undergoing the expert’s recommended 35 hour per week Applied Behavioral Analysis program,commonly referred to as ABA, is the most scientifically proven successful method of treatment for autism helps a lot and is based on discrete trial teaching. New skills are broken up into small components and students are set up for success. They are then rewarded with something tangible that they like.In addition to discrete trial teaching, ABA requires that the autistic child practice the skills learned in the therapy room, in a variety of conducive settings.Only with the help of trained and fully supportive family members and teachers, will discrete trial teaching be effective.Diet is another factor that can heavily influence the behavior of an autistic child.Many centers for children with autism are initially established due to the interests of the family in ensuring the survival of their offspring.

I have heard stories that many of so-called therapists and teachers, even parents in those institutions were recruited without or with limited knowledge of autism. But as time passed, they developed more expertise under the supervision of medical practitioners hired by the parents.Hence, greater efforts in advocacy, awareness, research and human resource development are compulsory. In this regard, government intervention on the autism issue is imperative if countries are serious about dealing with autism. Intervention could take the form of establishing more inclusive schools for children with autism and formal programs in universities or academies for educators and therapists in order to better handle autistic children. More government health centers that provide services to children with autism and medical research on the disorder are also required. Since no family is immune to autism, all members of society should not wait until our children are affected before we act and need to aggressively develop a comprehensive action plan that coordinates efforts between the public and private sectors.We all know stigma definitely exists but being autistic isn’t something that someone should have to be furious about. Autism is not something that should be used to discriminate against autistic folks, not something that should keep others from disclosing for fear of how they’ll be viewed by society.Contador Harrison may not be able to change society’s views on autism although I can try, but I can share my views here and perhaps influence tens of people or thousands who read this blog weekly.When I interact with someone autistic, I keep this stigma in mind and because am aware of the stigma,I’m far less likely to fuel or fall victim to it. I do personally judge people by their actions, not their label.

Contador Harrison