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Jimmy's Video Blog
Jimmy's Autism Tip of the Week
Blog Tip: I think that the use of medication should be up to the parent. I have never been on it. Although, I did have to take herbal supplements for awhile. They tasted really bad. I think the reason why your son has so much anxiety is because of all the things that are going on; one thing I have noticed with me is that last year I was in a public high school, and I was nervous about attending each day. But this year I am attending an online public school. I don’t have any more anxiety about going, because it is at home. I get up at 7:00 am and start school at 8:00 am. I like to work ahead throughout the week, so that on Friday; I can work on a special project or take the day off. I like to have three day weekends so that I can spend time with my animals.
Jimmy's excerpt from The Abyss of Autism
My name is Jimmy Link. This is a story of my life as an autistic. I am 16 years old. I was born on March 23, 1995, in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. I want people to read this book because I want people to understand three things.
1) Not all autistics are alike. We are all individuals just like everyone else. We have unique differences. We can have good senses of humor, and with a lot teaching we can understand some of the nuances of language that people may not think we can get.
2) Just because a doctor or specialist says that an autistic has certain characteristics, that is not always true for every single person. There is a lot of wiggle room in what doctors say about autistic people and how autistic people really are.
3) I want people to know that with a lot of work and practice, people like me can still learn. It is not easy, but people who are on the spectrum can live a good life, even if that is not what most doctors and psychologists think.
I think people with autism are going to be discriminated against because we are so different. The ways that we are diagnosed, people’s limited perceptions about us, and the way we are viewed in schools make this real possibility, and this is something I want to stand up against. That is another reason I am writing this book.
For example, I think most intelligence tests say that children with autism have poor memories. That doesn’t mean we can’t excel in terms of memory in some areas. When I am deeply interested in a topic or object, I will learn and memorize everything there is to know about that subject. I have trouble remembering something that doesn’t make sense to me or something that I cannot connect to something I already know about.
One way to help me remember is to connect facts I already know with something I am trying to learn about or remember. For example, I have a lot of trouble remembering math facts. Memorizing multiplication facts without connecting them to anything else does not make any sense to my brain. So in order for me to remember those math facts, they need to be connected to something that already makes sense or that I am familiar with. My brain does not make connections the same way that I think other brains might, so I need help from someone who knows how to help me make the connection. So far this has been really difficult because I don’t see connections in the same way that others might. However, I do have a very good memory about some things that are important to me.
Something I remember from my childhood was that I had a lot of stuffed animals. I had 30 of them. When I was 3 years old I could tell my mom where every stuffed animal came from and who gave it to me. I remember one time on a car trip, my mom quizzed me about my different toys, and I remembered each one and where it came from.
I also could remember the directions to different places we went. I remember sitting in the backseat in my car seat. I could barely talk. But, as my dad was driving, I remember getting very upset if he would take an alternate route to the place we were going. I would say, “Dad, you are going the wrong way.” I can remember panicking if my dad didn’t change the direction we were going. I would become very upset because I needed to have my routines followed. My dad would usually change the way we were going to help settle me down.
The way that I always thought about autism is that it is like the abyss because we don't really know anything about it. Just like oceanographers only know about 1% about the ocean, I think our brains are the same way.