My grandson is a teen with autism spectrum disorder. (Asperger’s). Looking back, had cameras been in the classrooms, he would not have the many additional issues he has today.

His life is not close to “neurotypical.” People trying to normalize what is different is not helpful.

Minimizing autism strips away all the thousands of hours of hard work the person with autism, family members have put in and more than likely will have to continue to put in for years/life.

When you minimize my grandson’s autism it means hours spent working to help him with his disabilities, while his same age group spent time on the playground or in the classroom. He may never had gotten to a point of understanding. But he knows and when you “normalize” him, it is a reminder just how different he is.

Minimizing autism: Going out in public looking “normal” like “neurotypical" kids, he hasn’t lost his autism. He's simply working hard to get there. In a situation with a bully he will not defend. We must keep him safe. When he is bullied by students/staff he loses part of himself and has few good days.

Change is very difficult. Spontaneous is not in our vocabulary.

What you don’t know is that autism spectrum disorder can impact nearly every single aspect of a person’s life, difficulties with social interactions, problems with verbal, nonverbal communication, obsessive and repetitive behaviors. Autism often has co-existing conditions such as anxiety. In addition, up to 80% with autism experience some restrictive eating resulting from sensory aversions. Inability to recognize symptoms of hunger or side effects of medications, sensory processing issues, sensory input such as sights, sounds, textures, tastes and noises can get jumbled in their brains causing sensory overload. This is literally a small snapshot of what someone with autism deal with every single day of their life.

They will always have autism. With cameras in classrooms they will feel safe/be safe. Least we can do for them.

Bettye Mendez, Miramar Beach