For a long time, autism has been perceived as a mysterious and obscure pathology. For a long time people with autism have been considered “ineducable”, impossible to socialize and incapable of learning. When “autism” was first diagnosis and acknowledged, parents of autism affected children were told that “there is not much to do”.
The same prejudice was seen back in history, during the nineteenth century, when the deaf were considered as mentally retarded and placed in the asylums. Till today autism evokes a thought of “mental illness”, a “psychiatric disorder” and are put under priority care. The moment a child has been diagnosed with autism, he /she is recommended to a psychiatrist and access to education or schooling is often incidental.
So are they really not ready for the society? Are they not social people?
The answer lies in understanding them.
It’s not true that people affected with autism cannot socialize, but the way they socialize can be different. It’s all about understanding Autism. The condition is characterized by 3 disorders:
Cumulative – verbal and non-verbal communication
Autistic people have absence or delay of language, inability to communicate by speech, gesture or mimicry. They have limited or particular understanding. They have difficulty in imitating or have lack of response in the face of attempts to communicate with others. An autistic person will have atypical or limited language, which can be difficult for them to carry on a social interaction.
Social interactions: lack of smiles
Unlike regular people, autistic people may show apparent indifference in response. When they come in contact with people, they feel impassiveness, which may seem as a wrong message to the other person. They are highly sensitive people, so if they feel hurt, they may refuse to be comforted, may not respond to their name, or might not react to anything that you say or do.
Behavior (stereotyped activities with restriction of interests)
This may be the reason why people with autism are always isolated and told as no good. They get excessively attached to unusual objects. The way they handle object may be different or for that matter, the way they walk, sit, move their body would be completely different. They may abnormally react or not react at all. At one time, you may see them happy, but another time you may see them adversely reacting, only because they saw some minor change in the environment.
Despite the existence of these 3 characteristics autistic people are no different when it comes to feelings. Socializing can be difficult for them, but they are highly capable of learning and gaining education, doing regular activities, watching TV or just about anything that anyone does in the society. The only acknowledgement is the understanding on how an autistic mind works, and why is it difficult for them to socialize. The moment one realizes these limitations, the perspective on how an autistic person socializes will be changed, and people affected with autism will be more accepted in the society.