April is Autism Awareness month, and Babble has recently a launched a new Autism section with articles and reference material for parents.
One of my favorite articles on the page is a slide show of 10 things your kids should know about kids with Autism.
I can only pull a couple but here are my favorite items that I think are most important. Please check out the article on Babble for all of them and share them with your kids.
“Everybody’s brain works differently.
Everyone’s brain works a little differently. There are probably kids in your class who are really good at reading, but have to work harder in math. There’s probably a kid who is really good at art, but not so good at reading. Or a kid who is really good at every sport, but is afraid of public speaking. Everyone has things they’re good at, and things they have to work harder at. One way that brains can be different is that some people have an autism spectrum disorder. Just like every other kid, most kids with autism are good at some things but have to work harder at others. “
“Why are they doing that?
While you can’t tell that someone with autism has it just by looking at them, sometimes you’ll notice a kid that’s doing something different: spinning around for a long time, flapping their arms, jumping up and down a lot, or rocking back and forth. Those repetitive activities are called stims, and they’re doing it because it feels good, or it’s relaxing, or it’s fun, or as a way to block out too much noise around them.”
Stimming can seem weird at first if you’re not used to it, but lots of people do things that are “weird.” People who don’t have autism or ADHD still do all kinds of little things when they’re “spacing out” or thinking hard, like biting their nails, chewing their pencils, tapping their feet, or humming to themselves. It’s just that we’re more used to seeing those things. Other “weird” things that lots of kids and adults do are talking to themselves, being picky about foods, only liking certain kinds of shirts, picking at scabs, or only liking one particular author. What are some “weird” things that you do? It’s okay that we’re all different. Think how boring it would be if we all did the same things all the time!”
Which items do you think are most important to teach your kids? Have you ever talked with your kids about kids with Autism they may have met or know? What did you say? Would you use the items in this article to start a conversation with your kids?