After my last post for Autism *Understanding* I was asked to make one specifically for kids so that they could help young children understand and help better interactions with autistic children. Here's what I came up with:
1) Autistic kids are like you: they have favorite things and like to have fun! But autistic kids are also different from you because what is fun for you may not be fun to them, and vice versa.
2) Autistic kids may seem strange or weird because they may act differently than other kids. They may repeat the same words or actions over and over, or become scared by something that doesn't seem scary to you. But try to remember that *you* are weird and strange to them, too!
3) Autistic kids say exactly what they mean and expect others to do the same. Sometimes this causes confusion! But that's okay; just try again. Sometimes they don't say anything at all. That's okay, too.
4) Sometimes autistic kids are too rough when playing. They aren't trying to be mean; it doesn't feel the same to them as it does to you. Sometimes autistic kids want to never be touched. Please respect that.
5) The easiest way to play with an autistic kid is to follow their lead and copy what they are doing as a way to start.
Remember that autistic kids want friends and to be friendly; they just often don't know how to or are not very good at it. And they don't understand teasing. They won't do it on purpose and they won't understand if it's done to them.
Feel free to share to promote Autism Understanding!
Can any of my fellow ASD parents chime in? Anything to add, anything I missed, or a better way to say something?