Robbie is my eight-year-old brother. He is autistic. Autism is a developmental disability that interferes with the normal development of the brain in the areas of reasoning, social interaction, and communication skills. Because of autism, Robbie has severe delays in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and even in play activities. Robbie does not do what is normal for a child of eight and he acts much younger. Things that most children do automatically have to be taught to Robbie.
Robbie goes to school every day. He is in a special education program that has helped him greatly. The TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children) technique is used. It is a highly structured program ...view middle of the document...
The special education class that Robbie attends is in a regular public school. He goes to lunch most days in the cafeteria with the regular school children, as well as to assemblies and on field trips with them. I think Robbie really enjoys that.
The other seven children in the class are autistic as well. With the help of one teacher and two teaching assistants, they have a great day that includes things like going to the YMCA for swimming lessons, going for walks, riding the public bus, and eating in restaurants. They also go grocery shopping every week. Such activities are both educational and enjoyable for the students.
Just because Robbie is autistic does not mean he cannot have a great social life. He is on a special baseball team for disabled people. With the help of an aide, Robbie goes out into the community two hours every day. They go to parks, malls and movies. They swim, ride horseback and bowl.
An aide also comes to work with Robbie at home every evening. They work on skills like doing puzzles and working on the computer. They do chores like cleaning off the table and putting away the silverware and other daily routines. Robbie feels proud when he can do things himself.
Some of Robbie' personal interests are watching videos. His favorites are the "Thomas the Tank and "Friends" series and several of the Disney videos. He loves playing with "Tickle Me Elmo" and doing puzzles. But most of all Robbie enjoys eating. Pasta and noodle soup are his favorites. He is able to get the ingredients together by himself so all Mom has to do is turn on the stove and watch it cook.
Robbie is autistic but he is also a very smart, funny, and loving person. He is so special and I am so happy to have such a special brother like Robbie.