6 Simple and Important Tips when Explaining Autism to Individuals
If your child is autistic they may know already, some may not have any idea and some may suspect something is ‘different’. Here are some tips to having that conversation with your child.
1. Don’t use autism/ autistic as a negative word… and watch what you say within ear shot (no matter how difficult your day has been), children pick up on the subtleties and never want to be a ‘burden’ or the cause of upset.
2. Talk about how everyone’s brain is different, processes information differently. Also talk about how everyone has strengths and challenges… share what yours are and help your child explore what theirs are.
3. Use positive examples of autism in people you may know and famous people to show there are no limits to what can be achieved.
4. Be clear and if it is helpful to your child, use analogies (not helpful for all).
5. Use books, videos, visuals and other resources before having the conversation to see if it sparks any interest or curiosity for the conversation.
6. Don’t get all serious in the conversation. Expect that the conversation might be in parts as your child processes information and then has questions for you later (which may come unexpectedly or at seemingly random times)
However you explain this to your child choose an appropriate time to do it, seed beforehand so that it doesn’t come out of the blue and listen to their responses.