I found this nice excerpt from an online news source located in Bangladesh. It rings true to me, and I wanted to share it with the folks who follow my blog, and who may know my son Peter.
So if you know someone who has autism, be extra patient when you’re talking with him or her. Don’t expect a person with autism to look at things the same way you do. You should also realize that some behaviors you think are rude (like interrupting you when you’re talking) come from a different perception of the world: It’s tough for people who can’t read social cues and recognize the natural pauses in a conversation to know when to jump in with their own thoughts. The more understanding and supportive you are, the more enjoyable your time together will be.
Despite all the day-to-day hurdles, though, many people with autism lead fulfilling, happy lives on their own or with help from friends and family. Most teens with autism like school, and some can attend regular classes with everyone else. They have individual tastes and enjoy different activities, just like you do. Some people with autism go on to vocational school or college, get married, and have successful careers.
Followers of this blog know that my son Peter has developmental delays, and has been enrolled in a preschool autism class for the past 3 years. I feel the quality of his preschool education has been superior. We are grateful for 3 years with 3 different and excellent teachers. Peter has grown to know and love his classmates – some of whom have been at his side for the full 3 years. On August 15th, Peter attended his preschool for the last time. A hot summer Friday, it started as “water day”, where the kids get soaked by the teachers & each other. Every hose & dozens of water toys are used, and laughter dominates the soundtrack.
Saying goodbye to Miss Liz for the last time
We brought a cake in to celebrate with all the kids, teachers, aides & families. They have all been like family to us – especially to Peter, and we will no longer see them on a daily basis.
As frightening as Peter in a new school/teacher/classmates seems now, we gladly reflect back a few years – when he was non-verbal, non-cooperative and never-ever smiled. At that time, he was an unhappy child. Today he is a joyful, playful and a personable young man.
Time to turn the page of a new chapter in Peter’s life. We welcome it.
Peter’s Last Day of Preschool
Island Creek Elementary School
August 15, 2008