On Friday the 27th of February we are Raising awareness for Autism by having a blue day. Niall Murphy from Autism Ireland will be giving a talk in the auditorium at lunchtime and everyone who brings in €2 will be given a blue nose. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterised, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. This is a short video which explains Autism clearly.
This test gives everyone an idea of how life is for an autistic person as they have to have a "preprocessing" strategy in everything they do. This test could be quickly completed & timed by "word" ...but the real test is processing and only saying the colour that the person sees!
This is the story of a student in our school living with Autism
My brother and I may be autistic but we both present very differently with the autism spectrum.
I’m the eldest and he was born the month after I turned two.
He walked before he turned one, he talked at 2 ½ years old. He was very sociable and made eye contact, a feature not usual in autism.
I ran before I could walk, the week of my first Birthday. I didn’t talk until I was 4 ½ years old.
The doctors told my parents if I didn’t talk before I was 5 then I wouldn’t talk at all. Believe you me I’ve made up for the years I couldn’t talk, they can’t stop me now!
When I was 18 months old I could make a 100 piece jigsaw in seconds. I could make a jigsaw upside down and back to front with no picture. I was so constructive whereas he was very destructive. He would upturn toys as he walked away from them and scatter my puzzle pieces everywhere.
I have an active imagination which is helpful for writing stories and creating things in art but because of my imagination I sometimes go off into my fantasy world without knowing it, when I get bored… so teachers beware!
Thanks to my autism I think a bit differently from other people
My brother is not as mentally developed as other boys his age. He taught himself to read from watching movies/television with the subtitles on. It’s his own learning strategy. He acts out the movie scenes but he sometimes he doesn’t know when and where it’s appropriate to act it out. He’s funny though!
In autism our senses (taste, touch, sight, smells and hearing) are heightened beyond belief. Some autistic people can’t bear to be touched, a tip of a finger feels like a prod to them. Noises like an audience clapping is like a sound system turned up to the highest decibels. My brother is more sensitive to sound than I am and he clasps his ears tight when this happens and clapping is sometimes spontaneous so I can’t warn him in advance. Hence he likes to have a hood on his top to muffle out unwanted sounds.
My brother’s best subject is English and spelling, which isn’t my forte. Meanwhile I’m good at Maths and he’s not. He knows the dialogue of every movie known to man and what the villain’s final words are and how they were defeated or killed. His brain is like a catalogue of movie facts.
Sometimes we think literally. So idioms used to be a problem, i.e. if someone says ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’, we initially would think visually like looking for the cats and dogs coming from the sky so I would get new pets! At the weekend my aunt was explaining about a new presentation tool like Powerpoint called ‘Prezie’. I thought I would get a new present, such a disappointment!
Has anyone walked over the stepping stones in the Dodder River going to Bushy Park?
We walk the dog over them, but I see them as, “A bridge with gaps”. My perception of things is very different, not wrong, just unique.
As I didn’t talk till I was nearly 5 years old my processing skills in communication are sometimes a second or two slower. So I can hear and feel all the emotions of what’s being said but to process what someone is saying and reply back appears like a slight delay in a phone line. I’m not the greatest in conversation making unless I’m very familiar with the people and the subject they’re talking about.
I’m a fairly organised person (for a teenager), however I need to have plans and schedules to keep me on track because of my delay in processing information. This is something I’ve got to work on more as unexpected things like projects due urgently, really overwhelm me.
The positives are I will stick at a task when other people have given up, I can sort puzzles out till the end, I’m creative, imaginative and have a different approach than most people. I learn visually and I’m good at remembering patterns, symbols and movies scenes. Thanks to this I can read, make sense and say some Japanese words that appear as squiggles to everyone else.
We are both unique and uniquely different but I understand my brother very well.
Thank you for listening and I hope this gives you a little better understanding of Autism.This is the story of a student's brother who is living with Autism.
My brother has had autism since the day he was born, and he is the most precious thing in my life. Jamie found this very difficult to accept at first, he didn't talk till he was 3 and a half and everyone was worried Incase he would never talk . To communicate he would bang his head or cry and point. His first word was my name so that's why Jamie is so special to me . When Jamie started school he didn't fit in straight away like the other children because he was in his own world and rather play different games to the other children . He got so frustrated over this and my mum was so worried . In senior infants Jamie got an SNA which really really helped him . She taught Jamie what was right and wrong in school and socially helped him , by the time 2nd class came Jamie was in the gang and fitted in greatly with all years . When my mum first found out my brother has autism she was terrified like all mothers would be , she was terrified that Jamie would never fit in and be bullied and that he would be upset all the time , we all thought that , Jamie proved us all wrong . When I was 5 my mum explained to me what autism was and that Jamie had it . At the time I was so confused and only half understood it but im so glad she told me because I wouldn't treat anyone with autism or anything like that differently , because people are different and if we were all the same life would be boring . Jamie is now 14 and in 1st year, he fits right in and loves every minute of it . Every weekend he's either out with his friends seeing a movie or going to Wezz , I love my brother and would never change him for the world.