This is Autism Awareness Month and Linda Trent of Toto has been guiding us through the world of autism. She is the grandmother of two autistic grandchildren.
Linda says the thing that parents and autistic children mostly need is help and support.
“If you do know somebody that has autistic children, offer to help because it’s difficult,” explained Trent. “In the case of my daughter, she has a sister and me and that’s about all the help she has. Now that I have my oldest grandson going into high school, I’ve had the sad fact of seeing people drop them as friends because they can’t take a child that’s making a lot of noise or they won’t overlook a quirk or something. We all have quirks and it’s not something the child can help. It’s sad, but sometimes they do recognize that they’re different.”
You might think autistic individuals don’t have feelings, but Linda says they do.
“My second grandson realizes that people kind of avoid him and he does try to control some of his clicks and odd behaviors but it’s difficult and children are not accepting so that makes it twice as difficult. If you are an adult and you can help in any way, at least be supportive. Don’t just assume that a child is being mean. They might have some other disorder and it may not be autism.”
We want to thank Linda Trent for sharing her observations about autism with us this week.