The first day of this class I was not what I was expecting. For some reason I didn’t think that it was going to focus on Autism. However, I’m very glad that it is. I’m very eager to learn about this because I am going to be a teacher someday and I really need to know how to communicate with these kind of children.
While reading this weeks readings, the quote that really stuck out to me was on page 385: “Our adversaries are not demons, witches, fate, or mental illness… we have no enemy whom we can fight, exorcise, or dispel by ‘cure.’ What we do have are problems in living- whether these be biologic, economic, political, or sociopsychological.” In this time of life, people seem to be much more accepting and knowledgeable with mental illnesses, but not so much in the past. I think this quote perfectly explains that because everyone used to think you were possessed, but not anymore.
I have a cousin who is physically and mentally challenged, and every time I asked my parents what was wrong with her, they could never give me a straight answer. To this day, I still do not know what she has. I think this is just terrible, and I related a lot to chapter 9 because of this. Bill was completely left alone and no one understood what was wrong with him, but thankfully he made a friend, Murray, and everything worked out for him. My cousin was befriended by a really nice girl, and I think she saved her. Without the friendship, I don’t think Bill or my cousin would have the will to live.
While looking through the DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria, I couldn’t believe how well Dustin Hoffman portrayed some of these in the movie Rain Man. When you read the actual descriptions of each criteria, it’s a little overwhelming, but to see it in film or real life, that makes my skin crawl.
Because I plan on being a teacher, I went online and found a source that helps teachers with strategies on how to teach children with Autism and other disorders. I’ve found that big visuals and constant positive reinforcement is the best approach. I have the website link below for anyone who wants to check it out.
To conclude, I now understand a little more about Autism and all of the complicated things it has had to go through to be understood and accepted. All of the stories from this weeks readings really gave a broad range of the disorder, and all of them are unique in their own way.