April is Autism Awareness Month and we have been discussing the disease this week with Linda Trent of Toto who is the grandmother of two autistic grandchildren.
We asked Linda Trent if autistic children can usually develop enough living skills to live on their own, or work as adults.
“Well, that varies,” she explains. “Parents with children that have disabilities hope that arrangements can be made for when they can no longer physically take care of them. People think autism new phenomenon but it’s not. A lot of it has been undetected until now. Many autistic children do work out in the public and they like to do some things repetitive and a certain way.”
Whether living at home or in a group home, working or not, autistic individuals have unique habits and rituals that must be followed.
“My oldest grandson went through a phase where you could not close any door,” said Trent. “Now I can’t leave one open because he will close every door. You kind of have to suit them to what they want. If you put a coat on him in the morning, I don’t care if it’s 80 degrees, he’s going to wear that coat because he thinks that what he should do at the time. He’s different that way. It varies so much from child to child and I think that’s why it’s difficult on the parents.”
Autistic individuals are different, and to parents, and grandparents the shunning they go through is heartbreaking. Tomorrow, in our last installment, we’ll find out what you can do to help the parents and child.