Thursday, December 6, 2012

Autism Is A World Video

Autistic does not mean mental retardation. Susie was thought to be mentally retarded with the age equivalency of 2.5 years old. This misconception about individuals with autism is common. However, once Susie learned to communicate, her IQ level was well above average. She graduated high school after taking and passing the regular education classes. Susie is now in her Junior year of college as a history major.

Some people with autism will have to have support, and this video demonstrates what a support system to an individual with autism may look like. Susie has an entire 24-hour support team that works with her. She lives across the street from her psychologist. Jeanine is her support system coordinator. Ashlin helps her take notes at school and prepare for school. Danny is her "outlet for fun," or buddy. Lisanne helps her by working on presentations. Sue also receives support from her parents. Susie states that even though she has autism, she has never felt alone. Each person in Susie's support group also makes sure that her basic needs for survival are met.

What facilitated communication is and how it works. Facilitated communication is the use of adaptive technology and intensive training from a facilitator. When Susie first used the keyboard, her progress was very slow. She stated though, “as I began to type, my mind began to wake up.” She now is able to communicate with other people, but still requires a little assistance. Susie states that she will always need others in her life in order to communicate.

How does Sue explain how autism feels? Susie starts of telling us that it is difficult for a person who does not have autism to understand what autism is like. She says she feels “lost in some way.” She can be self-abusive and it is explained that this is an urge that cannot be controlled. She retreats into her own world. Susie carries spoons with her because they are her comfort. She uses water in order to blank her mind. Susie enjoys going to the racetrack because she can blend in with everyone else. When she is in class, Susie explains that it takes every ounce of energy to sit still for such a long period of time. Susie later explains that autism is not a “social way of life.” Furthermore, to Susie, emotions are the most difficult to talk about.

There are still many unknowns about autism. Autism has something to do with the way the brain is wired. Some parts of the brain may work extremely well while others do not. Nobody knows why this happens. The use of items for comfort cannot be explained either, not even by Susie.

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