You won’t always see Autism

Autism must be one of the most misunderstood disorders.  Most people assume that children with autism (also known as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder) have certain identifiable physical features.  The truth is that Autism is a complex neurological disorder (not physical) for which there is no cure.

Autism ranges in severity, for example some with Autism may have severe cognitive impairments whilst others can live relatively unhindered lives, albeit with challenges in communication, sensory overload, anxiety and/or social interaction.

And whilst a “wheelchair” is a clear sign of a physical disability – you will not always see Autism.  There are no unequivocal signs that a person is on the Spectrum and it is for this reason that Autism is often referred to as the “invisible disability”

For people that understand Autism – the signs are clear.  The “invisible disability” merely means that the average onlooker or passerby does in most cases not have any idea that the child is on the Spectrum.  This is sadly also the reason why many young children do not get the diagnosis at an early age and why too many people have remained un-diagnosed into adulthood.

As parents, teachers and society in general please take a minute to think how incredible difficult it must be for people with an “invisible disability” to conform to the norms of society.  We keep expecting our children to “talk more”, “play more”, and to change the way they interact with the world when what we should be doing is taking the time to understand and embrace their neurodiversity.

Whilst surfing the WEB I read a mothers words and I quote:  ~Lisa wrote: “I used to say something’s wrong with Jordan.  Now I don’t look at it that way anymore.  Something is different; something is unique about him.”  Lisa added …  Jordan’s my greatest teacher!

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Ilse Kilian-Ross
ilse@amazingk.co.za

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, ABA, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.