A Mother's Love: How 2 LA Mothers Expose The Talents of Their Children With Autism
As a Valentine's Day gift, two mothers from Los Angeles displayed to the public the talents of their children who have autism with a great message to the public.
The message for the community is that people with this neurological disorder are not "crazy,” as many label them. On the contrary, they are observant children, sensitive, and with surprising abilities, but very misunderstood for their low ability to communicate and relate to others.
Kary, 14 years old, has autism. She could be the most popular girl in her school because of her cartoons, which leave all spectators with their mouths open. However, in many cases, she is mocked by her peers.
Karina López, the girl’s mother, learned of her daughter's problem when she was in elementary school.
"At the age of three, she behaved differently than other children. It took a long time for her to talk, and when she was in her room, she would stay there for a long time without moving. She also liked to observe the rows of ants in the trees for hours,” says Lopez.
"When my daughter was diagnosed, I did not even know what autism was, until little by little I began to inform myself that children with autism have problems communicating verbally, have repetitive behaviors or interests, and avoid eye contact," says López.
However, while a person with autism may have symptoms ranging from mild to severe, many children have an extraordinary ability in one area, such as mathematics, memory, music, or art. These children are known as "intelligent autistics."
Kary had never took an art class, but at the age of five, she already liked to paint her face, body, and everything that was within her reach. Once she went to school, her ability to draw only got better, so much so that her art has been in several school exhibitions.
Vince Álvarez, 11 years old, is very good at mathematics.
Araceli Cabrera, Vince’s mother, found out that her son had autism when he was 4 years old.
"Many people told me that something was wrong with him, and that I had to take him to the doctor, but I postponed the visit. I did not want to accept that my son suffered from something,” says Cabrera.
The child was very hyperactive, but he would leave his classes and not pay attention to the teachers. They even wanted to put him back a grade, but later they realized that what he needed was more individual attention, which improved his grades and his attention, to the extent that he was able to solve math equations like a high school student.
The child also takes trumpet lessons, and is able to play by ear.
Cabrera painfully remembered that some teachers would say that her son could not function normally in society. However, her face lit up with happiness and pride when she spoke of her child's abilities.
"Many times, parents and their children make fun of disabled children, because they are not informed. This treatment further damages their self-esteem, development, and behavior,” says Cabrera.
"My message to parents and other school children is that our children are not crazy. Yes, they are different, but they have extraordinary talents that make them more special,” she said.
Likewise, Lopez says, "as adults, we must support children with disabilities, and teach our children tolerance and compassion for others."
"Mothers with disabled children must fight against society, the school system that in many cases also labels and abuses children who, like everyone, also need a lot of love," she emphasized.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), one in every 36 children across the nation has autism.
However, Hispanic children are less likely to be diagnosed with autism than other children, as well as being more likely to have fewer opportunities to receive appropriate services.
Do you know anyone who has autism as well as having an extraordinary talent? How have they combated ridicule growing up? Let us know in the comments.