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Honoring Bill’s Nephew – Autism Awareness Day

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Today we want to honor Bill’s brave nephew, Patrick, for sharing with us what it’s like to live with autism.  autism1 – See particularly post “New York City Christmas Week!”

Patrick was adopted by Bill’s brother and wife who decided to accept him into their family despite his condition.  Excerpts from his blog:

“Autism is a condition some people are born with the causes things like fixations and obsessions.  Autistics also say some very odd things, like I did, which will come up later in this document.  I want to help people understand Autism, its advantages, and its challenges so if they have a child and find out from a doctor that he’she is autistic, then they can get some resources to help understand.  My recommendations are that people trying to understand this condition buy and watch the movie Rain Man, buy all of Temple Grandin’s books.  For example, if you watch Rain Man, the title character, in fact an autistic savant, has a great memory.”

“I have a great memory of what I saw the first time the Volvo 240 Wagon took me to Hillsborough, my adoption day, what I saw on my first day of school in Grade 1, school years, trips with family that involved camping and hotels and shopping, my Camp Centennial years, the TV shows I watched as a child.  Molly’s birth date and arrival date, the date I moved into L’Arche, some information Temple Grandin gave at the first Symposium Mom and I attended, like how bullies called her “Tape Recorder” because she was constantly repeating the same stuff over and over again.”

With autism also comes challenges.

“One is fixations and obsessions.  Fixations are things where someone autistic focuses on one thing for a long time and thinks and talks about that one thing so much it drives other people trying to understand autism up the wall.  I used to say silly things like “It’s a garbage bag” and “It’s a Kraft Dinner”.  I have no idea why I said the Kraft Dinner thing.  I suppose this came with autism, same reason Rain Man recites Who’s on First.  I also used to count down the microwave’s timer to 0 like it’s a rocket takeoff from space shows my foster brothers Cal and Ray used to watch on TV.”

“Another thing, once again a fixation with Autism, was a couple of days back in school at Bessborough after Christmas in Grade 3 I would move my thumbs as if I was playing Super Mario Bros. on our Nintendo which we had gotten for Christmas, which was distracting to the teacher, TA, and fellow students, so I was cut off from that for some time.  I can quote movies and other friends.  I can also play guitar, piano, and also work on the computer, and text on my BlackBerry.  A friend of the family’s is also autistic and also lives in a L’Arche home.  He can quote movies and other friends.  As a child he used to rewind movies to see a scene or hear a line or sound over and over again.”

“People can be more supportive of people with Autism by helping them make good choices, taking the person to a doctor or something to try to understand what caused Autism to enter the person, or give the person a dog to keep them company and help the person, provided the person is not allergic and the home the person lives in allows dogs to live in the house or home.”

For more information go to; image below post from that website.


#autism #autismawareness #larche