A little awareness goes a long way as believed by many parents whose children are diagnosed with autism. Children with autism are not any further different from other "normal" children and there are things that parents wish others knew about their children.
— Autism Speaks (@autismspeaks) March 28, 2016
Taken from Kristi Campbell of Autism Speaks and Carissa Garabedian of Parents, we list common facts about children with autism to raise awareness among family and friends. Often, parents and friends struggle with what to say and do around children with autism.
With this information, they will be able to handle awkward situations and promote acceptance within themselves and with others. On behalf of mothers with autistic children, here are some thoughts they want to share:
1. Don't be weirded out: You may treat a special child a little differently, but parents wish you won't feel awkward around their children. Just treat them as you would and practice patience when a situation arises.
2. Not all autism is the same: You may know someone with autism, but it doesn't mean all special children will be like him/her. There are different spectrums in autism and often they have different characteristics.
3. Parents also need love and acceptance just like their kids: More than anything, these kids need love and acceptance. Just like typical kids, they are wonderful and bring enormous joy and laughter to those who love them.
These kids need your acceptance just like their parents accepted yours. But parents also need assurance from others as well. They have worked so hard to fit in the typical world and including them on your plans will make them feel accepted.
4. Kids with autism have special skills set too: Kids with special needs are smart, talented, creative, and thoughtful. This may not be apparent right away since their minds work differently, but they have a special set of skills as well.
5. Don't be afraid to stare: It's perfectly normal to stare at the little antics of special children. Often, when they shout or jump, they just feel excited or anxious. This also goes if the special child does strange things like chewing his/her shirt or spinning.
6. Don't judge: More than anything, parents need empathy. Parents will not scold their children with autism since they understand that children with autism have difficulty adjusting to their environments.
7. Parents also want to have fun: Try to ask your friends to go out for lunch, spa or a visit to the salon. They may just need the break.
It doesn't hurt to learn a thing or two, especially when it involves potentially sensitive children. Check out these other facts about autism:
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