Rainman is that all Autistic People?
If you look at all the media representation from Dustin Hoffman’s Rainman to Mercury Rising and the Good Doctor it seems to be moving in a more positive direction.
Before you would only assume people with severe learning difficulties would be the only noticeable traits in a person with SEN and on the Spectrum.
But Rainman, is that all Autistic People?
When I was growing up in the 80’s, children like me were called boisterous or just plain naughty, there wasn’t a lot of information around despite there being films made but a lot of children and now adults have to deal with coping strategies to get by in this ever-changing world.
Rain man came out in America in 1988. I was always fascinated to watch this film the fast math skills and social awkwardness along with how Rain Man was portrayed; now I’m older and know more, I can see how good an actor Dustin Hoffman was to do this role.
But is Rain Man what ALL Autistic people were like?
Until I had KK I had no real idea about the challenges Special Needs people faced not just now and then, but on a daily basis.
Becoming a Special Needs mum was a real wake up call.
Pretty much the first eight-years of KKs life I was in turmoil with myself thoughts like “it’s a devil child”, “she’s just a naughty spoilt kid”, it’s my own fault I allowed the schools to look down on me and say it’s my parenting skills that’s why she’s so misbehaved and boisterous.
By this point, I was on my fourth yes fourth parenting course – Positive Parenting and Timeout for parents, to name a few. While they were amazingly informative, I tried every exercise presented to me each week, the strategies worked but as soon as that course finished KK changed the way she was and flipped all I had learnt upside down leaving me back to square one and powerless once again.
Can you imagine every day having a battle with a child that refused to have A bath, screamed when you tried to clean her hair or teeth?
Who didn’t want you to play with her and would throw toys at you?
See, KK was very forward with her walking and talking, she has a small issue with speech but that was a lisp and pronouncing words slightly wrong.
I had been to the GP many times to say I couldn’t cope and needed help, referral to CAMHS and a therapist was given, she was very well behaved on each visit which led to her being discharged.
The distraught feeling that I failed, I’m not ashamed to say, I wanted to die I felt like I was the problem and she would be better off without me- clearly my parenting wasn’t good enough!
I was put on antidepressants it seems a common port of call pills because their psychiatrists were busy and it was hard to get on the waiting lists.
The NHS is still Slow in this area for help and many young adults are taking their lives because they just can’t cope!
There are organisations you can phone for advice and guidance, please know you’re not alone!
Here are some numbers you can call
0808 800 4104
Monday-Thursday 10am – 4pm
Friday 9am – 3pm