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SPORTISM PROJECT

SPORTISM-from the basis to inclusion!

I have Autism

Please don’t let that confuse you. Autism is just one aspect of my character and does not define me as a person.
Do you, who are reading this, have only one characteristic? No.
Like me, you are a person with thoughts, feelings, talents, interests, and many other qualities…
You’re probably wondering what autism is…?
Autism is the term for a set of complex brain development disorders. These disorders manifest to
varying degrees through difficulties in sensory perception, speech, thinking, and understanding social
situations. Therefore, behavior and interaction with the external world develop differently.
But what are my characteristics as a person that I want you to know about?
a) First and foremost, I am a child!
b) My sensory perception is altered. This means that everyday sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and
touches, which you may not even notice, can be different for me, and even very painful.
c) Please differentiate between “won’t” and “can’t.” Understanding words, expressive language, and
vocabulary can be a big challenge for me. It’s not that I don’t listen to instructions, but I can’t
understand you. When you call me amid a sea of other voices, I hear only: /&%”)&(/&#$”1!$%56?=?%
! ! ! It’s easier for both you and me if you communicate directly and simply.
d) Please be patient with my limited vocabulary! It’s hard for me to tell you what I want when I don’t
know the words that would describe my feelings. Maybe I’m hungry, frustrated, scared, or confused,
but currently, those words are beyond my capabilities, and I can’t express them. Pay attention to my
body language, withdrawal, agitation, or other signs that something isn’t right. I may recite sentences
from TV, movies, and shows, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I understand everything I say; those
are usually words I hear from others daily and just repeat them. It’s called echolalia.
e) I learn better visually and with concrete examples! Please show me how to do something, not just
tell me; repetitive practice helps me learn something.

f) Please focus on what I can do, not on what I can’t. Look for my strengths, and you’ll find them. I
can’t learn in an environment where I constantly feel that I’m not good enough, where I constantly
have to “fix myself.” Can you?
g) Help me with social interaction. It may seem like I don’t want to play with other children, but
sometimes, I just don’t know how to start a conversation or join a game. Help me with that.
h) Try to discover the cause of my meltdowns. Remember that every behavior is a form of
communication. Meltdowns happen because one of my senses is overloaded, so if you identify the
cause and understand why the meltdown happened, you can prevent it. Believe me, my meltdown is
scarier for me than it is for you. Keep this in mind: some behavioral patterns can be conditioned and
medical. Food allergies and sensitivities, sleep disturbances, toothaches, and gastrointestinal
problems can have a significant impact on behavior.
i) Provide me with unconditional love. Forbid yourself from thinking “If only he/she…” or “Why can’t
she…” I didn’t choose to have autism, and more importantly, it happens to me, not to you. Maybe I’m
not good at math, eye contact, or conversation, but you know that I don’t lie, cheat in social games,
gossip about friends, or judge people. Without your support, my chances of being an independent
and successful person are slim, but with it, I can achieve more than you think.

You might want to know… … that autism occurs in one out of 68 newborns. … and that prevalence is
increasing. … that newborn boys have up to 5 times higher chances of having autism than newborn
girls! … that you cannot definitively say of anyone: “He/she has autism!” … that there is no cure for
autism because autism is not an illness.

Sources:

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, by Ellen Notbohm

The Autism Puzzle Piece: A Symbol of What?

http://www.ellennotbohm.com/deset-svari-koje-svako-dijete-s-autizmom-zeli-da-znate/

Autism Speaks https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

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