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Elena’s Story – Autism Awareness

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illustration by Peter Mazza

illustration by Peter Mazza

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Elena Mazza: Sibling

People with autism are different in social situations. For instance, my brother can’t make or hold eye contact. He gets overstimulated, like there’s too many things going on at once and his brain can’t focus on one single thing.

Right now my brother is in a school that is four hours long, and he only takes self-paced core classes. Usually people with autism or Asperger’s tend to focus on one single thing, and they want to perfect that thing. For my brother, it’s always been drawing. Although he’s only a sophomore, with his self-paced school, he will graduate when he finishes his core classes.

People with autism don’t understand what isn’t socially acceptable, so they may blurt out random things others know are bad. They are very honest people, and they don’t process that their comments could be rude or misunderstood.

Some autistic people don’t take jokes very well, either. They won’t know what you’re talking about, and it could end poorly. Also, some, like my brother also have to wear specific clothes, because certain material bothers them, or it’s noisy, and that bugs them.

Another thing is touch, if my brother wants to give me a hug, he will come and give me a hug. I can’t really go up to him and give him a hug because he won’t be receptive. Even though autism is a mental disability, it doesn’t really hinder those who are affected from doing things, because they can be some of the smartest people there are. However, they can only focus on one thing at a time, to not get overstimulated.

It’s important to not talk down to people with autism. Don’t think of them as a different person or as if they’re five, but do explain things in simple of terms, because they could get overstimulated. Don’t want to treat them as if they are any different from anyone else, but do approach them differently than you might approach another friend. Things are funny to people with autism that aren’t funny to other people because they have a different grasp of each situation. Keep in mind, it is different for every single person, but that’s what makes people with autism so special and unique.

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The School Newspaper of Rouse High School
Elena’s Story – Autism Awareness