Tag Archives: community

Autism & Wandering – Tips for Community Members

Wandering or elopement is common in individuals with autism. This is more prevalent in non-verbal kids. If you happen to live in a community where autism is present, it is imperative to know precautionary measures should you come across a wandering individual with autism. Unlike atypical kids and teens (or even adults), individuals with autism who wanders are often nonverbal making the ordeal even more challenging. Here are some important tips should you come across one:

  • If you live in a closely-knit community, identify individuals particularly children who have autism. A local autism group often has awareness campaign in the area. You do not have to make yourself a member but, the least you can offer is a considerate and concerned heart.
  • Be reminded that an individual on the spectrum can be resilient and tenacious. They can walk for miles and miles without a care for any impending danger. If you notice a child or teen walking alone, may it be in a secluded place or in a busy street, try asking where he or she is going. If you are disregarded as if nonexistent, try to get someone else’s attention.
  • Your smartphone is a significant tool in helping out. If you come across an individual with autism wandering, take a picture to easily give the law enforcement agency a visual. This will prove to be a great help when looking for missing persons. Instead of blabbering about physical description and outfit worn, you can simply show the picture for the parents or guardians to identify with.
  • Individuals with autism who wander are often non-verbal and non-responsive when being called. They also fear close contact with people they are not familiar with. They can either run or bolt from uncomfortable situations.
  • Talking to others can scare them, too. No matter how dangerous the situation, they can easily bolt to evade you. Be gentle when asking and avoid physical contact at first. Keep him or her in your line of sight.
  • Try to gain their trust first by introducing yourself and then, asking his or her whereabouts. The words “I am here to help you” might do the trick.
  • Again, your phone will prove to be a great help in wandering situations. Whether a child is with autism or not, when alone, it is imperative that you report it immediately to a law enforcement agency. Wait with the child or do not lose the child out of your sight while waiting for the help to arrive.

It takes a lot of courage and compassion not to walk away and ignore warning signs from individuals we meet on the streets. Even more so when we are busy tinkering with our own lives. However, as community members, it is our obligation to at least manifest a sense of concern especially to children with autism. We can divest tragic circumstances from occurring should we at least reach out a helping hand in trying times like this.

Teaching Your Community About Autism The Positive Way

Ever experienced having someone’s eyebrows raised over your autistic child?
Do you feel insulted or hurt?

It is a common occurrence among many communities across the globe for people to not instantly understand what your child is going through with this ordeal. However, you, as one who has direct knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorders, have all the power in your hand to make people understand about it. The challenge is how to do it nicely without offending the other party.

4Teaching Your Community About Autism The Positive Way 2014-8-27As we all know, some people that those living in the spectrum are dysfunctional and live in their own world. These observations, however, are but a minute part of the spectrum of disorders that the autism genome carries. If your child or a sibling has ASD, educating those around you can be done in a positive manner. You can start talking to neighbors about it. If you have community forums, joining in one and making your intentions known can also elicit awareness among those who surround your loved one with Autism.

Start by educating them on the nature of the disorder, that is, Autism is neurological and not psychological as what others believe it to be. Add the fact that it is a spectrum of disorders meaning, ASDs have different levels of severity and not necessarily like Simon Lynch on Mercury Rising or Dustin Hoffman in Rain Main. Before you do this, it is imperative that you harness your knowledge about the spectrum of disorders that Autism carries to ensure that you get your point across as factually as possible. This could mean researching about your child’s diagnosis, interacting with medical professionals assessing his or her cognitive, language, developmental and social skills, and so on.

It is important to point out the challenging ways like making eye contact, showing appropriate emotions, and other manifestations affecting their social skills. Most kids with autism also has trouble accepting change and when faced with such, they can easily feel stressed and agitated making it hard for them to reach out and be understood. It is like being in the South of France with nary any idea about the language. It is how their brain works and they cannot help it, one puzzle no one has the obvious answer as to why. It is important to let people understand that an autistic’s reaction or lack thereof to certain stimuli is part and parcel of the disorder. Some manifests differently than others but, all the same, this neurological condition can bring in different reactions.

Be as factual as possible in your points. If talking to neighbors or friends, make them understand the diagnosis provided by your child’s doctor and the observations you have gathered over time. Along with facts, your attitude also plays a big role in making people that surrounds your child or sibling with autism understand what you and your child/sibling is going through. Not will this improve their interaction to people with ASDs, this will also increase their awareness and be able to relay this to others. Besides, word of mouth has always been an effective manner of raising awareness.

Photo credit: http://www.4-roads.com/Social/Blog/social-networks-vs-online-communities