Let me first start off by saying that until a three years ago I had no idea what autism was, and I do mean absolutely no idea. When I began taking my professional education classes as a student teacher we had to take classes about helping children with special needs and that’s when I first learned of autism. Growing up in the Caribbean special needs children did not get the attention they deserved; parents, teachers, and other people in the community who worked with children did not always have the up to date information on these and other issues. When I first learned of these different needs it made me realize that I had lived in a small world and now thought twice before glaring at someone with a child that I thought to be disruptive. Awareness and empathy on the subject has become a passion for me and I would like to share that with others.
As a young woman who would like to one day have children I now question myself as to why I did not begin researching on child care and children needs before. We need to prepare ourselves not because we may one day have a family of our own but because it also helps us to be better neighbours to those around us. When we are knowledgeable about subjects like this then we will be able to teach our children how to be nicer and how to make friends with other children who may not be like them. It would also help us to be better friends by knowing how to be understandable and how to compromise when we invite our friends to our homes or when we are invited to their homes. Sometimes we don’t know how much difference doing some small things can help children especially with autism.
This week I will try my best to give a voice to autism and allow those closest to it to tell their stories.