Autism Awareness Month 2013

We dedicate this awareness article to the brave young minds affected by autism, and their incredibly and equally brave families 'Lighting the way blue' for them:

What is Autism?

Imagine if you had a bee buzzing around your head, and someone asked you to say the alphabet backwards.
Imagine if you were in the middle of a really loud rock concert
and someone wanted you to name all your Aunts and Uncles.
Imagine if you were wearing three pairs of gloves and someone told you to eat a box of raisins one by one...
This is what things are like for me, a lot of the time.
I have Autism...

Your brain is like the inside of a computer, full of connections and wires.
With messages to your body whizzing around telling you what to do.
My brain looks the same as yours, except some connections work really well, and some work really differently.

And my brain wires can get crossed really easily.
So, if I'm doing something a bit funny looking... try not to laugh at me. It's just one of my brain connections clearing itself out.

And if I tell you something over and over, just ask me to stop repeating. It's just one of my wires plugged into the wrong socket.
And, if I freak out at some sound that you think is really normal… maybe help me get away from the sound. It's just because my ears have their own unique volume control.

And, if you think I'm ignoring you, I'm not. I'm probably just focused on something else, like a tiny spider on the ceiling on the other side of the room.
Autism is a different way of seeing the world. And seeing things the way I see them is awesome, but it makes me really tired sometimes. So, I might not always understand what's going on.

And, I might need time by myself to think things through. Or, I might crash or jump or swing for a while to straighten myself out. Don't worry if I don't always do things the way you do.
Try to imagine what it's like inside my head, then you'll see.
I'm not being rude.
I'm not being naughty.
I'm not sick.
I have Autism.......and I'm just being me. ♥

By Chris Evans

Why me?

How many times have I asked myself this question? Why me?

When we're out shopping and my son starts to tantrum, and head butt me and yell inappropriate language at everyone around us, I ask myself this question.
When we're out with friends and my son's behaviour is aggressive and antisocial, and I'm on the receiving end of 'advice', disapproving comments, and feeling other people's uncomfortable tension in the air, I ask myself this question.

When I have to refuse an invitation to a social gathering because I'm unsure of how he will cope or react, or when I avoid leaving the house because his behaviour is so unpredictable and it leaves me feeling completely exhausted, I ask myself this question.

When his little sister shields her face and body as he runs past her, in fear of being hurt by a bump or a push because he is oblivious to those around him, I ask myself this question.

When I feel totally alone and unable to take any more physical or abusive attacks from him, I ask myself this question.

I know the answer - even at my lowest point, but I have to remind myself often.
Why me? Because I love him.

Why me? Because I will never give up on him.

Why me? Because deep down I know that I am capable of taking on this very special task, and that is to support him and encourage him, and love him through life. Not every parent could do this job, of that I am sure. I know my job is to believe in him and to help him reach his full potential.

The future often scares me. I wonder at what it holds for us as a family, and for him as a person.

But when I ask the question, Why me? I just know that it couldn't be anyone else. ♥

By Elissa Plumridge
Mother of two children, her son having an autism spectrum disorder.

The ABLE Centre is a Registered Non-Profit Company (NPC: 2012/049901/08) established to support initiatives relating to autism and developmental delays treatment, awareness and fund-raising, consisting of concerned parents and community members.

The Centre offers the following:

  • Early Intervention Centre for children on the Autism Spectrum – preschool from 18 months
  • ABLE Academy - Foundation Phase School (Currently Grade R)
  • Development Assessments
  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Training, Support & Awareness initiatives

11 Galjoengolf, P.O. Box 102038, Meerensee, 3901; Tel: 083 6285572; Fax: 086 2365117;

Autism Treatment: Enabling our Children towards Independence