Parents of children with Autism manage an assortment of different elements every day. From keeping countless documents and battling with school systems for their child’s rights, to dealing with a lack of sleep and meltdowns, it’s enough to exhaust even the most patient of parents. Additionally, when others label Autistic children or they say things before really understanding Autism at all, it can create frustration and cultivate pain and anger for parents. Here are a few things parents of Autistic children want you to know so you have a better understanding:
1. Children with Autism are more than just a diagnosis.
These kids are so much more than the word “Autism” and all it correlates to in the medical field. They are both amazing and talented. They have feelings just like the rest of us. They are creative and thoughtful. Just because these characteristics aren’t displayed in a way you are familiar does not mean they aren’t present.
2. Autism is a spectrum.
If you know one autistic child, then you only know one autistic child. Each child is different, and each has distinctive needs, aptitudes, challenges, and personalities. Don’t assume that because you have interacted with one, that you understand them all.
3. Autistic children are not unintelligent.
Even though Autistic children struggle with social skills and possibly speech, that does not mean they are not smart. Their minds just work differently. They can learn and retain a lot of information and, in some cases, they are very academically advanced.
4. They do want to be sociable.
Social interaction is challenging for children with Autism, but that doesn’t imply that they don’t want to connect. They just don’t know how to show you sometimes. If you pay attention, they will share everything with you; it just might take a little help on your part.
5. An empathic smile goes a long way.
Autism is much more complex than just good and bad behavior. If you witness an Autistic child throwing a tantrum, don’t judge the child or the parent. Try to understand that his environment strongly affects him, and the parent knows the child best and is dealing with the behavior in a way that’s appropriate for the child.
Parenting is demanding already; having a child with autism increases the stress. Yet, if you take a moment with an Autistic child, you will learn to see the world in a unique and brilliant manner that you did not comprehend before.
American Advocacy group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.
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