Raising a child with autism is rife with ups and downs. Parents are often the child’s biggest advocates- the true heroes who deserve to commended.
According to a blogger for The Mighty who is also an autism parent, there are certain approaches that are more welcomed when touching on the sensitive topic of autism in the family. Below is some of her advice for using the right words to say when referring to a beloved special needs child.
1. Recognize how far the child has come.
2. Emphasize what they are good at.
3. Focus on a positive example of a successful person with autism that resounds with you.
4. Ask if there is anything you can do to help.
5. Sympathize with their intense emotions and sensory perception which is probably more overwhelming than your own.
6. Take note of how fascinating this child’s mind is- their autism gives them an amazing ability to see things others cannot.
7. Tell his parent how much he loves them; they will really appreciate it.
8. Take the time to get in their head and try to figure out what they are thinking.
9. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them because an autism advocate always wants to educate others.
10. Mention the ways the child has educated you and how they have enriched your world view.
11. Provide a listening ear and companionship to ease the struggling a caring parent endures every single day.
12. Offer to be the one to provide something the child needs, like the one food they reliably eat.
Above all, show empathy and understanding. The child or adult with autism may have severe language deficits. It is possible to say so many things without uttering a single word. On the other hand, an hour-long conversation might be the best thing an exhausted mother needs.
Written by Hannah Jay