Making Sense Of The World Around You With Autism
The fact that autism is already such a complex and bizarre disorder becomes much more mystifying and perplexing when it seems to show its high prevalence in males. In a male dominated society, where men need to be self-independent and uphold the rights of their family, sound mental health is of utmost importance. A common disparity based on gender lies in the fact that for every one girl diagnosed with autism, four boys are diagnosed.
Autism is a developmental disability that lingers on throughout your lifetime and is known to be a spectrum condition. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) puts the victim in a socially awkward situation and may share common symptoms with other brain-related diseases like Alzheimer or Asperger’s syndrome, which is a mild form of autism. Both these patients may be subject to communication issues and grow up to be aggressive individuals. They may even face a genuine inability to read, write, speak or understand.
What it feels like to be autistic?
When stuck with autism, you have bound all your life and face frequent issues on a daily basis. However, it should be understood that everything has its varying degrees of intensity and people on the autism spectrum have their own unique set of needs and abilities. It all ultimately depends on your will power, how effectively you deal with your condition. If you let it overpower you, you are most likely to go into depression. Or you can choose to live with it, not as a challenge but accepting it just the way you are.
Missing out on facial cues
A recent study intended to develop an insight into how the world looks like when viewed from the perspective of an autistic person. Supported by past findings it was shown that autistic people tend to have a candid problem with focusing on faces than control objects. On the first instance, the focus is on the center of the image, without taking into perspective where the main content of the image lies. Their gaze immediately and unconsciously gets diverted to objects that stand out due to color and contrasting. All other factors were kept constant while investigating this quality of the brain of people with autism.
Core issues on the autism spectrum
Parents, families and caregivers of people with autism are certainly concerned with the development of their child through all stages of development. From the early stages of primary education, through college and then into the professional world after graduation. Every parent wishes that their child, especially boys reach a position in their lives of which they can be proud of. College success can be owed to effective presentation and public speaking skills. And autistic individuals may face all the more challenge in overcoming these obstacles and hence may need the appropriate guidance to steer their way.
Commonly known as the ‘triad of impairments’, these are the three central zones where people with autism usually face difficulty in:
- Social communication
Depending on the severity of the syndrome you are diagnosed with, be it Asperger’s or Autism, speech development happens accordingly. Communication skills are impaired in either case. Feeling at a loss of being able to interpret the language you are being spoken to in and unable to make sense of the facial expressions and body language you encounter is a great ordeal indeed. They are unable to maintain the momentum of the conversation and have under-developed verbal skills.
- Social interaction
Autistic people are usually socially withdrawn and do not seem to develop an interest in getting to know people around them. The most probable reasons could be apprehension or a strong feeling of intimidation. Social interaction is shaped by various bodily expressions, gestures and voice intonations all of which coupled together form your social identity. People with autism usually avoid eye contact and seem to be unaware of personal distance. They may even unconsciously show disrespect to other people’s feelings and display public emotions at inappropriate times. When they are socially unacceptable they are further demoralized.
- Social imagination
One of the fundamental rules of social acceptability is being able to see the world from other people’s perspective. One needs to have the basic quality of being able to sympathize and empathize with people and learn to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Showing people that you value their opinion develops a feeling of mutual understanding. Having the basic skills of analyzing situations other than your day to day routine life and interpreting other people’s thoughts and feelings helps you cope in the new or unfamiliar situation. All these senses seem to be under-developed in an autistic person.
Approaching autism with gender differences in mind can eventually lead to a more comprehensive understanding of autism and hence opting for the most desirable form of treatment and empowering autistic individuals.