To Tell or Not To Tell… | Autism Awareness

Telling people about my son having autism is a personal, sensitive matter, but should it be?  That is the question….to tell or not to tell.  There are a couple of different ways of looking at it.  One is an approach not to label him and to maintain privacy.  The other approaches the subject as a way of educating the public about autism and how it affects my child.

The part of me that doesn’t want to tell people is the part that still struggles with what is the “right thing” to do.  What is best for my child, public be darned?  Would it be detrimental to him to continually hear the “A” word every time he has a public meltdown?  Will he even notice or care?  Will it help him by educating others or is it a thankless/hopeless task?  My stance is and will always be that he is not his diagnosis, I will say it(an mean it) with my dying breath.  So does telling people go against this, or is it just as simple as helping them understand this ever growing pool of unique superheroes?  As you can see, this side of the argument has many questions.

The argument to tell, transversely has many statements.  One in 88 children. According to the latest numbers from the CDC, 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are affected by autism.  People witness fits in public and see a caregiver administering a hug and getting half beaten to death and they view the child as a spoiled rotten monster.  What they don’t see, most times, is a child who’s had a meltdown triggered through no fault of their own, who’s parent is attempting to give sensory input as a means to calm them and re associate them with their space in the room.  This is no random hug and it’s not a hopeless process.  Until people are educated, they simply won’t know.

For those of the thought process that knowledge is power.  There is a great tool I found out about called the TACA Autism Card.

TACA Cards - Autism Awareness
FRONT:

My Child’s Behavior May Be Disturbing To You.
My Child Is Not Spoiled or Misbehaving.
MY CHILD HAS AUTISM

Almost 2 million children in the US are affected with Autism.
With the CDC now reporting that 1 in 88 children have Autism, someone you know probably has Autism in their family.

Thank You for Your Support & Understanding, and for Being a Friend to a Family with Autism.

BACK:
Autism Is a Devastating Biological and Neurological Disorder that Can Affect Individuals in Different Areas:
1. Troubles with Communication (both verbal and non-verbal, including the possibility of no speech, or appearing deaf)
2. Social and Learning Skills (unable to understand social cues and situations, including waiting in line, or unplanned changes)
3. Strange or Odd Behaviors (such as tantrums, hand flapping, repetitive sounds, yelling out, or obsessive behaviors)
4. Sensory Issues (for example hypersensitive hearing and vision, or aversion to being touched)
5. Medical Problems (including severe headaches, gastro-intestinal problems, severe food allergies and many others)

For information on how you can help families with autism
Please visit www.tacanow.org

Only you can decide what is best for your family.  I feel a challenge brewing out there and the Spidermonkey and his band of followers aren’t the type to back down.  In the end, I don’t think that discretely handing a card to a gawking stranger will cramp my superhero’s style.

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