Autism is a complex neurological disorder that affects people in different ways, and the autism community is made up of individuals who have unique experiences and perspectives. As a friend, family member, or colleague of someone with autism, understanding the nuances of autism can be a challenge. The autism community wishes you knew their approach and how they handle situations.
Here are some things the autism community wishes you are aware of:
- Autism is a spectrum disorder: Autism affects people differently and to varying degrees, so it’s important to recognize that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to understanding autism
- Sometimes it is hard for people with autism to understand non-verbal cues: People with autism may have difficulty interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. Try to be explicit with your communication and provide clear instructions.
- People with autism need a safe, supportive environment: People with autism thrive in safe, predictable environments. Providing structure and routines can help them to feel secure and comfortable.
- People with autism may have difficulty with social interaction: People with autism may have difficulty communicating and understanding social cues, so it is important to be patient and understanding.
- People with autism can have amazing skills and talents: Many people with autism have unique skills and talents that can be incredibly valuable to society. Don’t underestimate the potential of people with autism.
- People with autism need understanding and acceptance: People with autism need understanding and acceptance in order to feel safe and secure. Showing compassion and understanding can make a big difference in their lives.
HOW TO BE MORE ACCEPTING TO PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
The autism community wishes that you knew that they are more than just their diagnosis. They are complex, unique individuals with amazing potential. By having an open-mind and showing compassion and understanding, you can be an incredible friend, family member, or colleague to someone with autism.
- Listen and be patient. People with autism may need more time to process and respond to questions or conversations.
- Talk slowly and use simple language. People with autism may have difficulty understanding complex language or abstract concepts.
- Use visual aids. Use pictures, charts, and other visual aids to help communicate more clearly.
- Allow for personal space. People with autism may need more space and may be uncomfortable with physical contact.
- Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions allow a person with autism to provide more detailed responses.
- Educate yourself. Learn more about autism and how it can affect someone’s behavior or communication.
- Be flexible. People with autism may have difficulty adjusting to change or new situations.
- Respect boundaries. It is important to respect a person with autism’s boundaries and to not pressure them to do something they are not comfortable doing.
- Celebrate successes. Celebrate the successes of a person with autism and encourage them to keep trying.
- Show empathy. People with autism may feel overwhelmed or anxious in certain situations. Showing empathy and understanding can help.
Check out these other great resources for more helpful information.
There is a bestseller book written by Ellen Notbohm. Her personal experiences as a parent of children with autism and ADHD, a celebrated autism author, and a contributor to numerous publications, classrooms, conferences, and websites around the world coalesce to create a guide for all who come in contact with a child on the autism spectrum.
An autistic person may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and isolated in public if they are unable to communicate. They may feel overwhelmed and confused by the presence of other people, the noise, and the unfamiliar environment. They may feel anxious about being judged or misunderstood or frustrated that they cannot express themselves or interact with others. They may also feel isolated and alone, unable to connect with others or understand what is going on around them. Awareness and understanding is the first and most important step we can take towards making changes for the better in these individuals lives.
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