5 Facts About Autism That You Need To Know

5 Facts About Autism That You Need To Know

Autism is becoming more and more common, but many still do not know much about the disorder.
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April 2nd was Autism Awareness Day, and though the developmental disorder is becoming more and more common, many still do not know much about Autism. I have been around, and worked with those with disabilities for as long as I can remember. It is so rewarding to me to be such an influence in someone's lives, and sometimes be the only voice that they have.There are many unique things that I have learned about Autism along the way, and in recognition of Autism Awareness Day - sit down, and become aware.

1. Autism is more common in boys than girls

In the three years that I have worked solely with those on the Autism spectrum, I have never met a girl with Autism. Don't get me wrong, they do exist. Dakota Fanning does a great job in playing an autistic teenager in the movie "Please Stand By." Still, it is not very common.

2. Researchers have found that children with Autism have a larger amygdala

Your amygdala is the part of the brain involved with emotion. It is believed that the larger amygdala size may influence the difficulty many on the spectrum have with communicating and understanding emotions.

3. Many with Autism experience heightened sensitivity

If you ever met someone with Autism, you may notice that they are keen on touching or loud sounds. This is because many with Autism are highly sensitive to stimulation, and may refrain from hugging or touching because of this sensitivity. This further contributes to coming off as not keen on common social behaviors.

4. Autism is not one thing. It is a spectrum, and not every mental disability is Autism

There are many levels of Autism, and difficult people experience different symptoms of Autism or different intensities. As well, not everyone you see that has a mental disability, has Autism. There are many other mental disabilities other than Autism, and there and many other causes of mental disabilities, like brain injury.

5. Many researchers are considering labeling Autism as a personality type rather than a disability

I really like the idea of viewing Autism as a personality type, rather than a disability. I have met so many intelligent and talented children (and adults) with Autism that I have no doubt will live fulfilling and successful lives. Many of the current knowledge, or lack thereof, about Autism, lead parents to beleive that their child is limited. I believe those with may have more opportunity for success than us typical people might.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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