Welcome to Mattknits.com! We are excited to provide high quality hand knitted hats and scarves from a young autistic adult named Matthew Yee. We're glad that you are with us here today.
First question, what is it like to live with an autistic adult? Many adults who enter parenthood who know that their child has been diagnosed with autism often wonder what their child will be when he or she goes into adulthood -- and what are the symptoms and they should be looking for! For the first blog entry I will now turn to my father, whom I have interviewed in a research project for autism.
This is an interview of my father’s perspective on my brother Matthew.
1) Describe Matthew’s autism.
Dad: First of all, Matthew does not speak. He only says about two to three word phrases, but now he can say one sentence. His autism affects his ability to learn; he is at least four grades behind, which is part of his mental retardation. He lacks all social skills, which means he cannot relate to people. He does not like certain foods because of certain taste, and he does not like certain sounds because of his sensitive hearing. He has no concept of time and danger.
2) How does his autism affect our family?
Dad: Matthew always needs adult supervision wherever he goes. This means that your mother and I have to be focused constantly on Matthew over our priorities. We also have limits of travel and work, and also contact with family and friends.
3) What were Matthew’s symptoms when he was a child?
Dad: He failed to communicate and he stopped eating. He would cry and scream a lot, lacked eye contact, and failed to respond when we would call out his name. He had verbal and physical compulsive behaviors.
4) What were your reactions when the doctor reported that he was diagnosed with autism?
Dad: I had deep sorrow, grief, anger, shock, and a desire to help him.
5) What kind of treatment has Matthew been through?
Dad: He has medications from psychiatrists in order to deal with the real world and to improve his language. He attends regular psychological meetings to check his progression. In school, he had speech and physical therapy to help him with his life skills.
6) How has this treatment changed Matthew over the years?
Dad: The treatment has helped him to speak, read, calm down, improve in socialization, control his compulsive behavior, and to improve his vocabulary. He is considered a high-functioning autistic child. I also believe that God has healed him because of answered prayer and patience.
7) What are his hobbies/activities?
Dad: He likes hands-on activities, such as making crafts, being on the computer, reading books (he liked this recently), watching classic movies on video or television, and record music on audio tapes. He likes to collect videos, audio tapes, crafts, and other new toys.
8) What are Matthew’s routines during the day?
Dad: He gets up in the morning, gets dressed, goes to school (special ed schools in regular/summer school years), eats after school, takes a nap, gets on the computer, exercises with a workout video, does certain chores in the house, eats dinner, and goes to bed. Sometimes he would watch TV shows or videos in between.
9) What are Matthew’s current struggles in life?
Dad: Trying to overcome autism, of course. His major struggle is communication.
10) How does Matthew express his emotions?
Dad: He gets angry (tense), hits himself, and yells compulsive short phrases, which can be from TV infomercials or commercials, TV movie lines from broadcast or videos.
11) How challenging is it to live with Matthew?
Dad: It is extremely challenging to live with him.
12) How has Matthew changed your life, and what is your view on handling all handicapped people?
Dad: Our family and I thank the Lord for Matthew; we try to love him and take care of him, and I believe that handicapped and mentally disabled people should also be treated with the greatest love.
Thanks Dad for your interview about my brother Matthew.