Do you get uncomfortable when you are around a child with autism? In light of National Autism Awareness Month, here are the top 10 things parents of children with autism want you to know, according to National Autism Network:
- Our children are so much more than their diagnosis. They are both amazing and talented.
- Their struggles in day to day life are sometimes great, but it makes the successes they achieve that much sweeter. Every milestone and every step forward is a celebration.
- We don’t want you to take pity on us. Help if you can, empathize if possible, but always afford us respect and dignity.
- Parenting is difficult already — having a child with autism adds to the stress and degree of difficulty. An empathetic smile or a nod during a tantrum in a public place is more helpful than a disapproving frown. We already feel guilt and helplessness in that moment — please don’t add to it with judgment.
- If you know one autistic child than you know just one autistic child. They all have different needs, abilities, disabilities and characteristics.
- Our children love to play just like everyone else, but lack the social skills to approach a group of kids he or she doesn’t know and may seem awkward if they do. They’re not “weird,” and ultimately they just want to be part of the group.
- Every minute of every day, we are mentally preparing for the next activity and it’s exhausting.
- While autism isn’t a terminal diagnosis; the possibility of danger is always there.
- If you see a child older than 2 or 3 screeching versus talking — there is a good chance that child has autism and is not just “acting out”
- We learn to see the world in a unique and beautiful way that those not walking our path may not be able to comprehend.
For more information about National Autism Network, visit the National Autism Network website.