There is lot of imaginations of adult autism. Actually, it is really difficult to describe an adult autistic, just as it is difficult to classify the disease itself. Charles is an autistic, is 22 year old and does not speak though he can. His will is to communicate using the computer keyboard. He is an adult autistic who, with the help of parents and therapists, finds himself in the world around him.
Adults with autism are rarely associated. Many of us, thinking of autism, see the child’s imagination as a smart, but socially maladjusted, often even small genius who does not care about the world around him, locked in his shell. But did any of us wonder what happens when a child grows up? Remember the movie Rain Man – an autistic person played by Dustin Hoffman? A genius who solves complicated mathematical tasks in memory, but at the same time is confused and clumsy as well ? Few people can answer the question: How are adult autistic living? And maybe rightly because those who live with autism know that there is no single answer to this question. With autism spectrum disorders is like with colors – not just that there are plenty of them, yet each of them has a whole palette of shades. How many autistics, so many problems. There is one thing we know for sure: there are no two same autistic people, says Elisabeth, mother of 22-year-old Charles.
I do not speak, I prefer to write on the computer
If Charles spoke, he could introduce the words, “Hi, I’m Charles and I have autism.” But Charles will not say so. He does not speak since a child. Not because he cannot. He does not speak because he does not want to. A few years ago, Charles felt the need to communicate with the world. The boy sits down at the computer and – regardless of orthography or grammar – writes. “When he was few months, I noticed that my son was not looking at me at all, and when I took him in my arms, he did not hug. I had two older children already and I knew something was wrong” says Elizabeth. They took him to visit the doctor. He calmed the parents that he is premature (he was born in the eighth month of pregnancy) and everything will come to normal soon enough. But it did not arrive.
“When he was eight months old, he looked like a deaf child, playing only with rolling the jars. Well, it came to this self aggression. He rubbed his hands on his head or hit her on the floor or walls” recalls the mother.
“It was in early 1990’s, the first neurologist said that Charles had severe mental retardation, that he would no more grow up and he would end up in a closed asylum. I remember those words today ” recalls Elizabeth. There was a real collapse.