5 Ways to Better Understand Autism

5 Ways to Better Understand Autism

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5 ways to better understand Autism

I believe that God has a plan for us and that we are to love everyone…Now you are probably thinking how does God fit into all of this? Well I believe that God has me here on this Earth for a bigger picture and that I am here to help others show love and acceptance to others.

Why is it so hard for us to understand something that is different from us? Why can we be so judgmental?  Why is it easier to be sad or mean instead of nice or happy?

Everyone is Unique

There are a lot of why questions in life and every one of us has a unique answer to those questions. Everyone is UNIQUE. We all go through different experiences in this life that shape who we are as a person. Now you are probably wondering when is she going to start taking about Autism? First I want to paint the picture that every person has unique and different personalities. We can look different, think differently, like different things such as foods, and we all have different skills that we are either good at or bad at.

Every person is unique, just like every person with Autism is unique. No one person is alike, has different meaning for each person and if you have met one person with Autism, you have met only one person with Autism. Please do not base your opinions based on one experience you have had with someone with Autism.

These are views that I have learned along the way as a sister, a professional, and as someone who is wanting to learn more about the Autism world, so that I can learn their perspective and be able to understand their viewpoint better.

When talking to your children or loved ones about Autism come from a loving and positive viewpoint.

Here are some ways to help us understand Autism

  1. We all see the world differently, but the world can look very different for someone with Autism. The brain is wired differently and different connections can work well or may have more difficulty working.
  2. The senses may be wired differently as well. Sound, touch, taste, smell, or movement can feel much different for someone with Autism. We all have different sensory preferences such as the foods we like or the activities we enjoy. Respect everyone’s sensory preferences and differences.
  3. Communication may be difficult and social interactions may be very hard for someone with Autism. Find ways to include someone with Autism in an activity in a way that they can handle the situation. In order to do this, you first need to get to know the person and understand their likes and dislikes.
  4. The special wiring in their brain can make something that we may think as easy be very hard for them, or something that we may think as being hard, can be easy to them.
  5. Someone may develop behaviors to help them cope with stressful or chaotic feelings due to being overwhelmed with an experience due to the their senses. When the brain and senses don’t communicate well the brain can become overwhelmed. These behaviors can look odd to us, but it can help them feel calm inside. The person may not be able to say out loud how they are feeling. From the outside they could look like they are fine, but on the inside they could be feeling chaos.

How we can learn to understand their point of view

  1. Take the time to get to know the individual. Find out what they like and don’t like.
  2. Find a way to be able to communicate with them. Do they talk verbally or use a communication device?
  3. See if there is something that you can do together that you both would like to do.
  4. If someone is talking mean about someone with Autism, stand up for the person and say something positive about them.
  5. I have heard many times that people with Autism just want to feel understood. In order to do this we need to take the time to learn the world from their perspective and not be quick to judge or place opinions.

I loved this quote from the video Amazing Things Happen, “People with Autism are not ill or broken, they have a unique view of the world.” If we take the time to learn and share the world from their point of view, we may be able to see the amazing things they can do.

If you are looking for a video to be able to share with your children or loved ones about Autism, I highly recommend this video from Amazing Things Happen! Amazing Things Happen is the creation of independent animation director Alex Amelines. Here is the link to the Facebook page for Amazing Things Happen.

If you found this post or video helpful please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

If you are looking for further resources to help you better understand Autism, here are a list of books that may be helpful!

Do you have a child with Autism and need help to find support? This post talks about 24 amazing online support groups and blogs for families! 

Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop

Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!

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How to Advocate for Children of All Abilities with Author of The Lucky Few!

How to Advocate for Children of All Abilities with Author of The Lucky Few!

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click on these links there is no extra cost for you.
 Advocate for Children of All Abilities

How to Advocate for Children with All Abilities with an Interview from Heather Avis

Life is such a precious gift and every day I like to be reminded of the positives that we can experience every day. We just need to take the time to reflect and seek out positives in each situation. These past weeks I was so thankful that I came across a book that I feel I was meant to read. I actually listen to my books through my Audible app and I love it! When listening to the book The Lucky Few: Finding God’s Best in the Most Unlikely Places, I was moved by Heather’s experiences and loved how open she was with sharing her life with all of us. She writes with such honesty and talks about how God influenced her journey. She talks about how she felt that she had the plan of becoming a mom with biological children, but how we can never know what the future with hold for us, but we can learn from these experiences and learn to love the process and end result. I love how Heather has been such a huge advocate for children of special needs.
Heather is an amazing advocator for children of all abilities. I love how she talks how every child has unique abilities and we need to cherish every child’s unique and amazing abilities and personalties. Every child is a gift from God. Heather has an amazing website and you can follow her HERE.
After finishing Heather’s book I decided I needed to reach out to her and let her know how much positive influence she had on me while listening to her story. I wanted to share this amazing story with others as well. I wanted to understand her perspective on the questions below to help our family, but our followers as well. Below are the questions I asked Heather and her direct response back to me.

4 Questions with an Exclusive Interview with Heather Avis

 

1. Why did you decide to share your personal story with the world through this book?

The honest answer, become someone asked if I’d like to! Beyond that I recognize I could have said no, but I knew there was a time in my life I needed to hear a story like the one God was playing out in my life and so it has been an honor to get to share my story with the world.

 2. What advice would you give to families with children with special needs?

Every family’s situation is so different and there are so many details with each family it is difficult to give “blanket” advice. Because I am raising children with Down syndrome, I have a better understanding about Down syndrome than I do other different abilities. When I talk with families who have a child with Down syndrome my biggest piece of advice is to find the fine and blurry line between allowing your child with Down syndrome to be exactly who God created him/her to be, and pushing your child to be their best (via OT, PT, Oral Motor Therapy, ST, etc.). So often I meet families who are feeling immense amounts of pressure to make their baby/child more like typical babies/children. I believe that should never be the goal. Our kids with Down syndrome have so much to offer the world just as they are. So as we pursue all the therapy and tutoring etc, we need to make sure we are doing it so our child can be the best version of themselves, not “less Down syndrome.” 

3. What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?

This past year we’ve had annual passes to Disneyland and we LOVE to go to Disneyland. We go at least a couple times a month, it’s a blast. We also love to go to the beach or the park. Our weekly family movie nights are a favorite with the kids. We order take out food and get to eat dinner while watching a movie. None of us are homebodies so we love a good adventure.

 

4. What are some ways that we can be better advocators for our children (or if we don’t have children with special needs how can we advocate for this population)?

We need to insist that the people around us see our kids as “perfect” just as they are. We need to be insisting that our schools and churches and communities etc. create the spaces our kids need to be the best versions of themselves. This can be hard work depending on what part of the country you live in. For us, we work closely with our IEP team helping them see the worth of our kids. I make sure to develop good relationships with the other kids and parents at the schools, setting up playdates, etc. We put our kids in local dance classes and gymnastics classes. We go into every situation assuming our child is competent and expect those around them to assume the same. If you do not have a loved one with different abilities I think it’s important to be intentional in developing relationships with the people in your community who are different than you. If your child does not have anyone in their classroom who is differently abled go to your district and administration and let them know this is unacceptable. Recognize how much we have to learn from people with different abilities and how our world is better off is we are doing life side by side.

 

Heather, thank you so much for opening up and sharing your story of your life experiences! You are such an inspiration and I hope to have the ability to touch others lives in a way that you are able to reach out to others in your book. I would highly recommend this book if you are a family that is going through some struggles or some hard decisions, especially if you are dealing with infertility or thinking about adoption in your family. Heather is a wonderful person to look up to and I cannot say enough great things about her book and the person that she is!

Here is the link to purchase the book: The Lucky Few: Finding God’s Best in the Most Unlikely Places

Please let me know if you have read this book or if you are going to read it in the comments below!

Are you someone needing to find support and encouragement with other special needs families? Read about the 24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families where you can get FREE access to these groups and blogs!

 

24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families

24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families

24 Online Support Groups and Blogs Special Needs Families

Life Can Feel Lonely Sometimes…

There are times in our lives when we feel like we are alone or nobody else has to go through this, why do I? Sometimes we can go through life feeling sad, mad, happy, excited, stressed, or (fill in any emotion). I feel like when we have a child with special needs our highs can be really high and our lows can be really low. Living in rural Iowa it can be difficult to find families who are in similar situations as us who we can talk to and relate experiences with. Not only just for special needs situations, but since my mother has started to homeschool, that has been hard for her to find other families around us who are also home schooling. Just this last year is when we have discovered support through online groups whether it be through Facebook groups or following blogs.

Facebook Groups

Our family has found these various Facebook groups about general special needs, groups about Autism, groups about sensory needs, groups about homeschooling, and then miscellaneous groups. We were even able to find a local group around our rural town and a special needs group in Iowa! It has been wonderful to be able to reach out to other families going through similar situations as us who we can relate to and ask questions of!

Blogs

Since starting this blogging journey for my brother I have constantly searching for other bloggers, especially people who blog about their journey with special needs. It gives us the sense that we are not alone. By having all of these groups and experiences we are able to grow more as a family and be able to think outside of the box to figure out ways to help my brother as best as we can. We just want to feel accepted and want to do what is best for our family.

If you are someone that is struggling or feeling alone in this world we invite you to download these tables to be able to join an online group or follow a blog that hopefully you can relate to in the hopes of bringing you hope and happiness. Whether you are a fly on the wall or you want to reach out to others and form friendships these groups can be an amazing resource for you! Here is a preview of what you will get when you click the link down below!


Life doesn’t have to be lonely…we can make the choice to reach out to others whether it be for help or just to listen. Our family is here to listen as well. If you would like to join our Facebook group, where you can be apart of an uplifting and positive group of people for support and encouragement for whatever stage of life you are, download the FREE resources below! This blog is meant to uplift and inspire and bring people together. We hope to continue to provide you with valuable resources!

Is there a group or blog you would like us to add?

We know there are so many more online support groups and blogs out there, we cannot find them all ourselves. If you would like to add a group to our compiled list please fill out this FORM HERE and we will gladly continue to update our groups to be able to reach as many people and populations as possible!

Let us know in the comments below if you like the groups!

Take care,

Sara