Josh’s Take on Autism
Josh is now 10 1/2 years old and has been living with the diagnosis of autism for at least 7 years now. A few weeks ago I was wondering what he thinks and feels about having autism. So, I decided to interview him for this post. At the time of this ‘autism interview’, please keep in mind that Josh is really into shipwrecks and he just had a falling out with his brother.
Q: Can you describe to me what is ‘autism’?
A: Autism is a sort of brain disorder that sometimes makes kids like (he flinches away), you know, they don’t like to be touch and sometimes it makes them smarter than other kids. But when they can’t be touched it’s hard for them to make friends and get along with them.
Q: Do you know how someone comes to have autism?
A: There is only one way to get it: being born with it.
Q: Do you think there is a cure?
A: There may be a cure for autism, but I’m not sure.
Q: How do you feel about having autism?
A: I don’t like it that much cause my brother treats me differently and its hard for me to get along cause he says I’m too smart and that’s probably why he doesn’t want me to play with him.
Q: Do you ever wish you didn’t have it?
A: I wish I still have it because its made me really smart. Like there’s things that are explained to you that your school never taught you.
Q: Are there times when your autism gets in the way? If so, how?
A: Yeah, like my brother, when I talk to him about something smart, like talk about (to) him about a famous ship, he’s like “you know I hate ships and history, right?” And then he just ignores me.
Q. Are there other times it gets in the way?
A. Like when I get a problem wrong on my math and other subjects, I get really angry.
Q: In ten years, you will be 20 years old? Describe to me what your life may look like?
A: I’ll probably have a job and married and kids like normal people.
Q. Is there a question you’d like to ask me?
A. Do you wish you had autism? [My answer: I don’t know. I don’t know what it is like. You know what it’s like.]
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I’ll be a shipwreck hunter.
Q: Can I give you another ‘autism interview’ when you are 15?
A: Yeah. We’ll record part 2 in five years.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who has autism like you?
A: Two years before now, my anger used to be horrendous but now its died down a little because I’m controlling it even more.
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