“DUNCE, NO BROUGHTUPSY, DEK DEK, NO MANNERS, STUPID, RUDE, SLOW” are just some of the many words used to describe Caribbean kids with autism.
Many persons in the Caribbean do not understand what Autism is. I am one such person, who, for many years did not understand what it really was until recently. We may see a child behaving in an odd manner, unlike that of a normal child and we pass it off as bad manners or the child being spoiled. Not really knowing the underlying issues that is making this child act in such a manner.
What is Autism? Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. Children with autism have trouble communicating. They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it very hard for them to express themselves either with words or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch. A child with autism who is very sensitive may be greatly troubled — sometimes even pained — by sounds, touches, smells, or sights that seem normal to others.
April Is Autism Acceptance Month. The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day was April 2, 2015. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events. On this day many persons were seen wearing blue to show their support for Autistic persons in society. Many social media pages on Facebook and persons were seen posting hashtag #LIUB and sharing their experiences with Autism.
One person stated, ” Awareness is so important to change people’s attitudes and increase tolerance to people that are different.” Other persons, including parents of autistic children, shared their stories.
Here is an inspirational video of a mother, Fiona Compton from St.Lucia, sharing her experience with her autistic son and explaining in-depth what Autism is.
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Don’t be ignorant on Autism. Read up on it. You never know when this information could come in handy in your personal life.