I don’t have a university issued PhD, although I often wish I did; sometimes I even beat myself up for not knowing more. Yet in many ways, I know so much more than those educated PhD’s, who have no idea (ok maybe they have theoretical knowledge, but no personally invested emotional experience) about what it feels like to live in the shoes of a parent with a child on the autism spectrum. On some level, they just can’t relate, no matter how much they want to, or how hard they try.
As our understanding of autism grows, we adapt our methods of relating and communicating to better suit our autistic loved one’s understanding of the world. Because those individuals with autism are not receiving and integrating social information like the rest of us, their motivation and social frame of reference is very different. As a result, their behavior can appear offensive to the uninformed bystander.
The Mission of the National Autism Academy
- Encourage, Educate and Support parents, families and caregivers who live, love and work with those on the autism spectrum to increase understanding and effectiveness
- Create greater awareness, acceptance, understanding and accommodation in the general public
- Address and create solutions to resolve future long term issues facing families