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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Importance of Recognizing Autism

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Created by Bing Image Creator (DALLE-3)

When people hear the word “autism,” they often envision a child having a meltdown, being aggressive, or overreacting. Unfortunately, many people, including parents, view autism as a source of annoyance, disappointment, or worse, according to Autism Speaks. However, I assure you that this is not the case. The rumors and stigma surrounding autism are false. Autistic people are just as capable of learning, forming relationships, and taking on the responsibilities of life.

Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences within a person’s brain, according to the CDC. Autism is described on a “spectrum” because it affects people in different ways. People diagnosed with autism often behave, communicate, and learn differently from most people. However, not all people have the same set of abilities. One person may have advanced speaking skills while another may have trouble communicating from a young age. 

Autism can make a person’s life more difficult and cumbersome. Often, they have difficulty communicating and understanding others. “This makes it hard for them to express themselves, either with words or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch,” according to WebMD. In addition, people with autism may have issues learning. They may take longer than an average person to learn a skill and may succeed better in subjects that rely on memory than in subjects that rely on communication and interaction. As a result, people with autism may have difficulties keeping strong relationships, succeeding in school, and even living alone.

However, this is not to say that people with autism are less capable than the average person. Although autism can make it harder to learn and communicate, this is not caused by a lack of intelligence but by a different way of thinking and interpreting the world. People with autism are just as likely to achieve their goals and dreams, although they may face unique challenges along the way. Some autistic people even have special abilities or strengths, such as playing a musical instrument, having great long-term memory, or high attention to detail. 

It is important to recognize autism so that early signs are recognized and diagnosed as soon as possible. This way, more families can access the support and resources they need. In addition, recognizing autism will help autistic people receive the care they need and reach their potential in life. Since autistic people learn and act differently, having accommodations and a strong support system will greatly help them grow and adapt to life.

Luckily, at Tenafly High School, we have resources that help support autistic learners and others with special needs. Like all other public schools in the United States, THS has an IEP (Individual Education Program) for each special needs student. An IEP is a document that describes the education plan and goals for a student and may include accommodations such as increased testing time, an additional teacher aid in the classroom, and other services for support. With this, THS also has a “Study Skills” class that helps students review and apply academic skills in their classes. 

While autism has negative connotations associated with it, people with autism can have great legacies and do amazing things with the right support and services. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge autism and spread awareness. Many accomplished people, like Elon Musk, have autism but are nevertheless fulfilling their goals and changing the world each day. Autism can certainly be difficult to manage and frustrating to deal with. However, with patience, support, and acceptance, a person’s true potential in life can be reached.

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About the Contributor
Edward Wang, Senior Staff Writer
Edward Wang (‘26) is thrilled to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. He primarily enjoys writing about STEM-related topics and is fascinated by scientific discoveries and advancements. In his free time, he enjoys practicing the violin, coding, and playing tennis.