I wanted to do an education blog on Autism to help people better understand individuals that have Autism. Two of my roommates have autism and I thought what a cool way to learn more about them.
I found some information about Autism on the Autism Canada website https://autismcanada.org/
Some interesting facts I found were:
We are all unique
Each person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is unique and will have different abilities. Symptoms caused by ASDs might be very mild in one person and quite severe in another.
Individuals with severe autism conditions may have serious cognitive disability, sensory problems and symptoms of extremely repetitive and unusual behaviour. This can include tantrums, self-injury, defensiveness and aggression. Without appropriate intervention, these symptoms may be very persistent and difficult to change. Living or working with a person with severe autism can be very challenging, requiring tremendous patience and understanding of the condition.
Individuals with mild autism conditions, however, may seem more like they have personality differences, making it challenging to form relationships.
The primary symptoms of autism include problems with communication and social interaction, as well as repetitive interests and activities.
Here are some of the characteristics that may be present.
Strengths exhibited by individuals with autism
- Non-verbal reasoning skills
- Reading skills
- Perceptual motor skills
- Drawing skills
- Computer interest and skills
- Exceptional memory
- Visual Spatial abilities
- Music skills
Weaknesses exhibited by individuals with autism
The above exceptional skills may be combined with subtle or significant delays in other areas of development. All individuals with the diagnosis demonstrate some of the following:
- Impairment in social relationships
- Deficits in communication/language
- Perseveration on interests and activities
- Dependence on routine
- Abnormal responses to sensory stimulation
- Behaviour problems
- Variability of intellectual functioning
- Uneven development profile
- Difficulties in sleeping, toileting and eating
- Immune irregularities
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Gastrointestinal problems
I hope that you have learned something about Autism and take the time to lean more by checking out the Autism Canada website for more information https://autismcanada.org/
I wanted to know more about my roommate Kat’s life with Autism.
I did an interview with Kat. She lives in a suite on her own in the basement of the house I live in. Kat lives by herself but has support from Camrose Association For Community Living to do some tasks. Kat has become a good friend and hangs out with us. We have went on trips to Banff for my 22 birthday and we also went on a Disney Cruise together with my other roommate Theresa. Kat and I go out for coffee, walks, trips to Edmonton shopping and supper for birthday celebrations.
I came up with some questions with my CAFCL staff and we asked Kat if she wanted to be part of my blog and she said YES! Here is our interview….
Kelsey: How dose Autism impact your life?
Kat: Well, I don’t view it as Autism has affected me that much, it more just shows me how I can be independent person as I grow up.
Kelsey: Do you think people treat you differently or not because of having Autism?
Kat: Hard to say, when I grew up I found that people misunderstood me a lot. The biggest challenge was that I had a hard time understanding somethings. I feel that I have been judged a lot.
Kelsey: What kinds of things do you like to do?
Kat: Oh, gosh, I am a very busy person. But what I like to do is my cleaning at Centra Cam, and then after my job my favorite things to do are my daily cleaning, and then relaxing which is watching shows, check on shows, go for coffee and walks.
Kelsey:What are your favorite shows?
Kat: My favorite shows are: Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, Game of Thrones
Kelsey: Do you like to travel, where have you all gone?
Kat: I really enjoyed New York. I have been to British Columbia and traveled through there; Kamloops, Salmon Arm and the Shuswap. I have also been to Montana, Disney World in California, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Saskatchewan and San Diego when I went on the Disney Cruise.
Kelsey: What are some positive things that have happened because of Autism?
Kat: Oh goodness, I see myself independent and can manage many things on my own. I think a positive would be that I can manage my own finances and grocery shopping. Because of my Autism I was able to move into Team 12 which allows me to be as independent as I can be. I also am an educator at CAFCL as I educate new staff about Rights and Responsibilities of people with disabilities and Ethics of Touch.
Kelsey: What are some hard things about it?
Kat: Only thing is tough is when people get judgmental when they don’t know anything about autism sometimes.
Kelsey: I find people think that I can not do things because of my Cerebral Palsy. Do you find that is true for you?
Kat: I can do a lot of things by myself because I am independent, but I ask for help when I need it. I do not think people see how capable I am and how I can manage on my own. If I find things are too much sometimes then I will hold it for another day or I will speak up if I need help.
Kelsey: What are some proudest accomplishments?
Kat: That’s a hard one,took me a while to figure everything out, but managing my own finances and doing my own business on ledgers would be an accomplishment I am proud of. I am really proud of myself that I can do that. I am proud that I have gotten the hang of figuring out the ledgers and I do ask for help when I need it. It took a few times to figure out how to not go over budget for groceries.
Kelsey: Pick 3 words that describe you?
Kat: Hard worker, flexible and trustworthy. Trust is very important to me.
Kelsey: What is a good memory from your childhood?
Kat: I do not remember much, I remember growing up and going to Wizard lake with my Dad and cousins.
Kelsey: What’s your favorite holiday?
Kat: Oh, gosh, I love holiday’s because that is the only time I can sleep in, New York is the best holiday I went on. I went to the Bronx Zoo, Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty and I visited my roommate Theresa’s sister in Hudson.
I appreciate Kat taking the time to do my interview.
I hope people understand Autism better and realize their is different types of autism. Like they said everyone is unique and you should’t judge people.