Even though there have been plenty of case studies on autism, there are still many things that we ignore regarding it. Most patients tend to suffer from various forms of discrimination because of it, and for the most part it still remains misunderstood. When growing up, children with this condition might believe there is something wrong with them. Their parents can also be left clueless after their children have an episode at school when the school staff reacts badly to them.
There’s been continuous education on autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD). Experts hope this will be enough to bridge the gap between what people believe autism is and what it really is. One of the most important organizations, Autism Speaks, defines autism as someone having difficulty in social situations, repeating behaviors, speaking and nonverbal communication. The reason that the condition is referred to as a ‘Spectrum’ is that there are distinct kinds and different degrees that are caused by both genetic and environmental factors.
The Center for Disease Control And Prevention, (CDC), carried out a study in 2014 regarding the prevalence of ASD in the United States. When they released the results, they raised more than a couple of eyebrows: 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) had autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These figures were not what many people expected but demanded more studies and resources dedicated to them.
I have a couple of friends who have children with autism and this has helped me understand the condition a lot more. I am the typical American who had heard of the condition before but really didn’t know anything beyond that. For the parents of one little boy named Landon, it would be a very similar case. They had to educate themselves very fast and ended up being very supportive of him.
When Christmas came, they would learn another lesson from a very unlikely source: Santa. The parents took their son to a local Michigan mall. This would be a trip that would help him in ways his parents had not been able to. As a result, he no longer feels he is different from his friends. Social Media was the means that made his interaction with Santa famous.
It has also generated a positive response and served as an educational tool for how we can make those with ASD feel loved and accepted. This is one of the underlying factors that can either increase or decrease the quality of life for patients across the United States. So, what happened that day with Santa? Landon went to the Rivertown Crossings Mall with his cousins to see Santa. The little boy sat on Santa’s lap and told him what he wanted for Christmas. After that, he asked Santa if he could return and tell him something about himself. Click on the video to see what it was!