Am I Not Human


Am I Not Human? Essay, Research Paper

Am I Not Human?

Walking down the street when I was about eight years old,

I saw a man who looked and acted differently. This man was in

a wheelchair and did not talk; he only rocked back and forth.

I was afraid, of what, I don’t know. As I walked by I ignored

his existence. Only after working with autistic individuals,

did I realize that the man I had seen so many years ago in the

wheelchair was autistic. I discovered what I was afraid of. I

was terrified there was nothing I could do to help him, and

feared the differences which he displayed. Ignorance of the

causes of autism also contribute to the fear of autistic

individuals. There are many levels of autism. There are also

different ways to help an autistic lead a normal life. There

are also different severity’s of blindness, and different ways

for blind individuals to adapt to their environments.

Autism is a syndrome that inhibits a person’s ability to

socialize and communicate. The cause is unknown and there is

no cure, but it can be overcome through social adjustments and

speech developments. There is great deal of variety among

autistic people. Some autistic people may never learn to talk

and may not be able to work or live independently. Others may

do well in special supportive environments, working in

sheltered settings. Still others are totally independent and

function fairly well. The last, or “high-functioning,” group is

often not recognized; however, they do exist, and people need

to recognize and understand the difficulties they face: their

unique ways of thinking, doing things, and experiencing the

world. These levels of intensity in relation to the disability

are not only found in autism. In her essay Georgina Kleege

talks about the varying degrees of blindness, and how people

assume that there is only one type of blindness, total


Their is no cure to autism but it can be managed through

many different techniques. The same applies for blind people,

there are many different types of treatments. Through Braille

publications, glasses, and different types of adaptations made

to public environments blindness becomes more manageable. To

effectively treat autism, any approach should be flexible in

nature, rely on positive reinforcement, be re-evaluated on a

regular basis and provide a smooth transition from home to

school to community environments. A good program will also

incorporate training and support systems for parents and

caregivers, with generalization of skills to all settings.

Rarely can a family, classroom teacher or other caregiver

provide effective habilitation for a person with autism unless

offered consultation or in-service training by an experienced

specialist who is knowledgeable about the disability.

A generation ago, the vast majority of the people with

autism were eventually placed in institutions. Professionals

were much less educated about autism than they are today;

autism specific supports and services were largely

non-existent. Today the picture is brighter. With appropriate

services, training, and information, most families are able to

support their son or daughter at home. Group homes, assisted

apartment living arrangements, or residential facilities offer

more options for out of home support. Autism-specific programs

and services provide the opportunity for individuals to be

taught skills which allow them to reach their fullest


People fear differences in people. In Georgina Kleege’s

essay she stated “The fear of blindness leads naturally to the

fear of the blind” (400). The same applies for autistic

people. Many people fear that they will somehow catch it or

that it will ruin them in some way. People do not realize that

autism only has to do with communication and social skills.

The repeated rocking and hand flapping and other body movements

are due to their lack of skill in not only verbal, but also

non-verbal communication. It is a way for them to display

their distress and frustration. The ignorance of the truth

about subjects is what leads to this fear of difference. If

everyone knew the facts and reasons of autism there would be no


Through out Kleege’s essay she describes the

mistreatment of disabled individuals. Society has been

ignorant of the causes and reasons for these differences. This

has lead to a fear toward anyone or thing who is different.

There will always be people who are uneducated and unwilling to

learn, which causes fear, and fear is a result of ignorance and

an unwillingness to understand the situations of others.

Kleege’s essay on disabilities allows the public a glimpse into

the life of a disabled person. This allows people to better

understand these differences, which helps eliminate fear.

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