A differnt kind of differnt

The TV flashes with a rainbow of colors as I walk into the TV room. My brother is standing, back bent extremely focused on the bright colors of the screen in front of him. Immediately the memorable face of Pikachu appears and Aidan jumps like one of those kids in the Disneyland commercials. He then starts hop up and down like a chicken learning to fly. I laugh to myself about how excited a kid could get about Pokémon. Aidan has a form of autism called high functioning autism spectrum disorder or HFASD for short.
Aidan’s case of HFASD does not have a nonverbal learning disability. What HFASD means is he has some autistic actions but can carry on a simple conversation and can go on normal world which gives you a completely unique case. The fact that he does not have a nonverbal learning disability means that unlike Asperger kids he can tell if you are mad or happy through your face and language like most people. Only 20% of kids with high functioning autism have no nonverbal learning disability which in the end means there a very limited amount of people like Aidan.
People in their teens love having their space and hate it when people get in the way of the want. Another thing Aidan is he has sensory integration problems which means the links with his five senses are wired wrong. In most cases this leaves the subject wanting more or less of a certain sense. In Aiden’s case he needs to touch and have pressure on him in order to calm him down so he loves to hug and hit because it sooths him. As you can imagine 14 year old boys hate to be hugged and punched so it puts Aidan to another disadvantage.

Here might be one case of a conversation with someone who has HFASD, you are at school when you see this friendly looking kid sitting at a table alone, so you go to sit next to him and have a discussion. He does not look you in the eyes as you talk and bobs his head a little during the conversation. Your questions never really get a straight answer nor does he seem to even be paying attention as you talk. You would be surprised how angry of people can get from this. I also takes them a while to figure out there may be something wrong with the kid they are talking with and by the time they figure it out the damage has been done.
People can be so mean to kids who are different sometimes. Preying on the weak almost run through our veins. Most kids with Aspergers due not know or care if you hate them; their brains are not wired for that kind of basic want or understanding. But Aidan does understand what it is like to have people angry at him and his HFASD makes it really hard for him to get along with people he knows. Also his HFASD makes it really hard for Aidan to keep his emotions under control so when he is angry you sure know it. This is hard on his family so in turn it is hard on him.
Do not get me wrong, I hold Aiden in a higher regard than any one I have ever met because no one knows the pain of not feeling like you belong then he does. There are good things that have come from his autism as well. Aidan is free from the plague of having to grow up or move on. He may not make many friendships but when he does they are incredibly strong. And he has a great capacity for love. I hope that one day all forms of autism are taught in school in order to keep kids from being ignorant in the face of the diverse. Autism does not need a cure but general understanding by all.
Aidan is my twin brother and through that I have watched him grow and become stronger. I have seen him at his worst and at his best. He is a different kind of different not a worst nor a better just a different kind. Maybe instead of looking for a cure for autism we should look for a way to put understanding in the hands of everybody. Kids with disabilities have a lot to give to the world. The insight of the weak is valuable because they are the ones on the outside looking in to our lives. A kid on the street may know more about you then you know yourself.





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