1. Kids with autism know they are different. They know they have an issue no one else around them has and fight with themselves every day over it. They are embarrased, hurt and sad a good deal of the time even with all the positive reinforcement in the world.
2. There is a normal, intellectually competent (in MANY cases) kid “trapped” inside a malfunctioning body. Kids with autism stim because they have to, not because they want to. They yell because (in some cases) everything is loud to them. They get in your face because they have trouble controlling themselves. But under this, is a kid who wishes they didn’t do ANY of these things. And when a “spell” is over they regret the behavior.
3. Kids with autism work their asses off to cope with their condition and function. My son has trouble sitting still and listening because of his need to stim. Yet, he sits still during class, does his work, and listens for entire school days. What people don’t see is when he gets home he is completely exhausted as if he just ran a marathon — because he had to expend that much energy to get through the day. Tempermental? Moody? You would be too if you ran a marathon every day and then were expected to behave when you got home too.
4. The need for control in autistic kids isn’t just about something “Broken” and “OCD” in their head. If you couldn’t control your body, what would you do? I mean really? In a lot of kids cases, they control what they can, so they can stabilize as much as they can in their life. If you are busy attempting to control your body for an hour you don’t want to have to worry about where you will be, what you will be eating, etc. in the future — when you JUST got your body adjusted to dealing with the situations/foods/stimuluses you’ve been currently dealt. Anything NEW represents an entire new set of coping mechanisms or the chore of adapting the current ones to a new situation. Tiring.
5. Kids with autism love the kids in their class and want friends. Social isolation is the most tragic symptom so far I’ve seen in an autistic child. A kid who wants t obe in a group and interact with normal language with his peers but can’t find the words and can’t stand close contact or even sitting in a group because it is “too much” for his system. And as a result, he lives a lonely life on the outside looking in. Thankfully for many kids they have a support system to aid with this and create a bridge; but the frustration caused by not being able to just be a part of the group is palpable and real.
Pass this on to anyone you think may need to read it; and next time you see an autistic kid respect the internal fight they are dealing with all the time to overcome the obstacles they’ve been handed.