Understanding Autism

During a recent broadway show of “The King and I” a young boy with autism started screaming loudly. The interruption happened during a particularly intense yet quiet scene in the second act. Members of the audience were angered and insisted that the mother and child be removed even though the mother was already trying desperately to take her defiant child away. The horrified mother pleaded with her son to calm down and to let go of the railing that her son held on to so tightly.

Broadway star, Kelvin Moon Loh, was absolutely appalled. Not at the mother and child, but at the negative and insensitive reaction he heard from members of the audience.

Kelvin was so taken aback by the incident that he wrote a post on his Facebook Page to theater goers.

I am angry and sad.
Just got off stage from today’s matinee and yes, something happened. Someone brought their autistic child to the theater.
That being said- this post won’t go the way you think it will.
You think I will admonish that mother for bringing a child who yelped during a quiet moment in the show. You think I will herald an audience that yelled at this mother for bringing their child to the theater. You think that I will have sympathy for my own company whose performances were disturbed from a foreign sound coming from in front of them.
Instead, I ask you- when did we as theater people, performers and audience members become so concerned with our own experience that we lose compassion for others?

Read more of his Kelvin Moon Loh’s Facebook post here. Kelvin definitely has perceptive insights into the struggles that parents with autistic children face every day and sheds light on the lack of understanding of autism.

The Kidmunication Point

Children with autism can be unpredictable. The parents of a child with autism have two choices; they can shield her child from the world or they can bravely help their child experience all the pleasures of life that other kids enjoy.

The theater going woman chose the latter, but if she is like many of the parents of children with autism that I know, she didn’t go into this situation naively. She most likely went to the theater with her son expecting an enjoyable event like any other parent, but planned for the worst by sitting in the back of the theater in an aisle seat. That’s what parents of children with autism do, they hope for the best, but always have a contingency plan.

The bigger issue is that despite the dramatic rise in the rate of children being born with autism, way too many still do not understand it.

Education and communication can change the views of people because most people are very accommodating and forgiving once they understand. Some are not, but that is their problem.

Need help understanding autism, here are 68 insights from parents of children with autism that will enlighten you.

Kelvin Moon Loh deserves a curtain call for helping educate us all about autism. Bravo Kelvin. Every little bit helps.