Boy with Autism Has Giant Birthday Bash After Nobody RSVPs
Living with autism can be extremely difficult, especially in a world that is so designed to accommodate neurotypical people and not many outside that spectrum. While adjusting to the world as someone with autism is difficult, it can also be difficult for parents and caregivers as they try to navigate a complicated environment and create a setting in which a child can grow and thrive.
While there is research that supports various therapies and treatments which can help with autism, sometimes what a child wants most, and what a parent most wants to see, is to be included in a social setting regardless of what differences might be present. Recently, an 8-year old boy with autism got to experience a dream birthday party thanks to the enthusiasm and willingness of his community.
The difficulty of interacting
When discussing the challenges of autism, it’s easy to get caught up in medical jargon and talk of causes and treatments and forget what it’s like to function on a day to day basis. Autism interacts with an individual’s ability to process the world through his or her senses. While that can mean a wide variety of things depending on where the child falls on the spectrum, it can mean that the world will seem strange or overwhelming to an autistic child in ways that it doesn’t to a neurotypical child.
For an autistic child, sounds, sights, or smells can be incredibly abrasive, even if they’re perfectly comfortable for a neurotypical child. A regular announcement through a speaker in a school might sound like a bullhorn, or the lights on a screen or on toys might be as stimulating as a strobe. Because these different sensations are often perceived in an extreme degree, autistic children will often react in a way that can look like acting up or being disruptive. It’s important to remember that acting out doesn’t mean a child has any ill intentions. Instead, it may be a perfectly normal response to a disorienting situation. While that concept may be relatively easy to explain, when other children, parents, or teachers are faced with it in a day-to-day setting such as a classroom or daycare center, it can be difficult to handle.
Mathias is a recently turned 8-year old that is a perfect example of the struggles an autistic child and caregivers will face when trying to integrate into a neurotypical context. Mathias’s mother, Lisa Schramel, discussed the development and treatment of her son’s condition. She noted that although he wasn’t diagnosed until he was 2, he was showing signs of autism as early as 8 months old. When he was eventually diagnosed, doctors warned Lisa and her family that he would likely be nonverbal. While it did take Mathias longer to speak than most children, he didn’t start forming words until he was 2 and ½, but he did develop verbal abilities. Now, according to Lisa, getting him to be quiet is the bigger challenge.
Read on to learn more about Mathias's story.
Photo: NBC 10 News