Here are a few things you need to know when dealing with kids with autism. Those of you that have typical kids, or love someone with autism, please take note:
1. Please don’t say to the parents, “can’t you just”. No we can’t just give him something else to do, distract him, blah blah blah. If we could, don’t you think we would?
2. Please don’t tell us to ignore his behavior. “Have you ever tried ignoring it when he tells you something repeatedly?” Well I challenge you to hear “I can eat dinner at 6” every 30 seconds for five hours. Seriously.
3. Please don’t ask us “why do you think he is having a meltdown or why is he so upset?” when it seems to be for no apparent reason. Um because he has autism, that’s why. If I could get that info, I would.
4. Please don’t say the following, “wow you have so much on your plate”, or “oh you are a saint”. We have our plate and it’s no bigger than anyone elses. I am far from a saint and pity is really offensive. Everyone has life and parenting challenges.
5. Offer to help and mean it. If you want to help your friend or family member, babysit, come over and engage the kid, or just listen if we need someone to talk to. We don’t expect anyone to solve our problems, we just need empathy and action.
6. Don’t ask us if our kid is going to college, going to drive, or going to live on his own. We would have a better chance of drowning in the bathtub than knowing that.
7. Never give up on our kids. Never look at them and think they have limitations. They may be different but they are not less!!! (TG credit there).
I am sure I can come up with more. Just like autism, nothing is as we expect it to be, so this is not a top ten list, it’s a top seven!