My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is - Journeying Through the Unknown. Because that is the theme of my life.
What is autism? Even trying to explain autism can cause some controversies. There are those who consider it a disability and seek a cure for their loved ones. Others consider it as a difference, with the disabilities belonging to society as a whole and their attitudes.
According to the organization Autism Speaks:
"Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.". They go on to point out:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
- Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
- Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
- Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
I have a brother in law with autism I call "Bil" in this blog. He has been in my life since the 1970's.
"Bil" is now in his late 50's.
I hope, one day, to turn these experiences into a book, because there is an epidemic of young people with autism, and now the oldest of them are reaching adulthood. Their loved ones need a road map. Perhaps I can help with that. Actually, I could use one, myself.
My brother in law was born back in the "bad old days" before there was early intervention. He went diagnosed for almost his entire childhood, and my mother in law was blamed for his differences. Today, that's hard to believe, but it's true.
It is hard to communicate with him. Meanwhile, I am, by nature, a shy and reserved person. Being with him can be frustrating, to say the least. I may not always like him, but I've learned you don't have to like someone to love them.
But I fight for his right to live with dignity and full potential. And I fight for myself and my right not to be swallowed up in his life.
I hope you will join me on this Journey Through the Unknown. And while you are at it, I hope you will join a link up at a blog called It's All a Matter of Perspective.
That blogger is opinionated, and you may not always agree, but you will always get something of value from what she has to say.
This April, I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Today, April 1, my blog topic starts with the letter "A". On Monday (we have Sundays off, except for April 30) my blog post title with start with B, and so forth, ending with "Z" on April 30.