Personal Narrative: Different, Not Less

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“Different, Not Less”
“I have to tell Monet about it!” Matt shouted across the parking lot. While twisting his fingers, he memorized the license plate number and model of the PT Cruiser as it drove away. My family and I travel around the country and Matt continues to recognize someone he met in the past: a waitress, a teacher, or a friend. He has an amazing ability to make connections with complete strangers to their aunt, or their brother’s wife, or their bus driver. I cannot recount the times that my family received “It’s a small world” response from people only Matt knew. Autism is a mental condition that causes impaired social behaviors and an inability to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings. I often felt pangs of embarrassment
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Family is a vital factor in supporting an autistic person. Each individual, especially siblings, have to practice an enormous amount of love, patience, and kindness to him even when he is the most difficult at home. If something is moved on Matt’s desk, he has a complete meltdown. The floating raft in a snow globe is moved, a paper is placed on his bed, a shirt was removed from his draw- this completely unravels a person with autism. In fact, some of the greatest tantrums that Matt threw were because of change in is familiar environment. Matt has a routine that he repeats day after day. Whenever he makes plans, Matt expects them to happen and is quite distressed if the plans are canceled or changed. Routine is important to provide a sense of security to a person with autism. Yet it is important that he learns to be flexible; life will not always go the way he plans. A significant step to support him is to keep a calm house at all times. Siblings should never be antagonistic, even though the special needs person could be irritating and aggravating. Parents cannot show frustration or anger, but explicit love and support. Family is the closest thing to a person with autism. Therefore, no matter how much he pushes them away, the family always needs to be there to love and encourage him. Although difficult to live with, someone with autism add a unique dynamic to the home that could never be

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