Being a mother of two girls with autism I have learned that learning how to accept autism is challenging to the general public.
I am not an expert on autism but I do want to share our journey so others can have a better understanding and learn how to accept people on the spectrum.
My girls have been my best teachers in this journey and I have learned far more from them then anything I have read online.
So here is learning how to accept autism from our personal experiences.
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Learning How To Accept Autism Is Important
I have decided to to write this blog because there is a huge lack of acceptance in the public for autistic children and adults.
I want to help spread awareness to people so you can share with your family and friends.
Hopefully this will help spread awareness so that children on the spectrum, or with any disability for that matter, can have the same acceptance as anyone else.
The Stigma Of Autism
Autism seems to carry some kind of stigma that these children look a certain way, or that they aren't smart.
People think that they don't understand you when you talk to them, or that all children on the spectrum can't speak.
I am here to tell you if you think that way you are wrong.
Yes autism comes with it's challenges and these kids and adults do struggle with things like how to talk to someone or being in big social gatherings.
Autism is way more then just appearances or intelligence.
For many this is their life and there is no way for them to magically become more neurotypical.
Autism Is Not An Appearance
Children with autism do not look a certain way on the outside they look like ordinary kids.
You can not pick a child with autism out of a crowd based on looks.
This blows my mind that people think this way.
When I hear someone say your child doesn't look autistic it literally makes me scream inside.
This shows me the lack of awareness out there for these kids and adults.
A child with autism is different in many ways but looks is definitely not one of them.
Kids With Autism Understand More Then You Know
Just because a child with autism doesn't respond to you when you talk to them does not mean they don't understand.
They may not be verbal which can mean many different things, sometimes its simply because they don't know how to communicate the words they want to say or it could be a medical condition hindering their speech.
They may also not respond if they are deeply engaged in an enjoyable activity or focused on something else.
Another reason they may not respond is simply because whatever you are talking about they have no interest in at all.
These kids have their own agenda and they may differ from what the rest of the world finds important.
So even though they may seem like they aren't paying any attention to you they are so be careful what you say.
How To Accept Autism When Kids Talk
There's this idea out there that children on the spectrum can't talk.
This is incorrect.
Well this is one of the many obstacles of being on the spectrum studies show that 80 percent of children on the spectrum learn to talk.
There are many reasons why a child with autism may not talk.
They could have a difficulty expressing themselves or they may not know how to say something correctly so they don't say anything at all.
They have their own vocabulary and it may not make sense to people around them.
Another reason is because being social for these kids is very awkward it makes them feel uncomfortable.
For Autistic Kids Making Eye Contact Is Often Uncomfortable
Most children with autism do not make eye contact this isn't because they aren't listening to you, it's just uncomfortable or stressful for some to make eye contact.
Sometimes eye contact is described as a burning feeling by people on the spectrum.
Do not take this as a personal stab at you or that they are being disrespectful.
As human's who are capable of somewhat understanding the world we should try to be understanding that sometimes these kiddos just can not look you in the eye when you are talking to them.
It's our job to set the example on how to accept autism.
How To Accept Autism When The Kids Are Intelligent And Inquisitive
If I have learned anything from my girls these kids are far more intelligent then the general population gives them credit for.
Both of my girls are little professors but normal everyday conversation bores them to death they would rather talk about things I can barely wrap my head around.
My youngest who is 6, loves talking about horses she knows every breed, their markings, caring for them, among other things.
She can also build these elaborate houses and other contraptions out of literally anything.
My oldest who is 12, loves music she can make her own beats, write her own music, and knows every word to literally almost every song out there.
She is also an amazing artist she can make these colorful abstracts drawings or paintings that literally blow my mind.
Intelligence I fell like has lost the true meaning of it's definition which is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
Just because these kids sometimes struggle academically does not mean they are any less intelligent then another child it simply means they may lack the ability academically but surpass all odds in another skill.
For instance just because a child can't do a math problem doesn't mean they don't have a good skill in art or music.
Acceptance Is Needed When Learning How To Accept Autism
The biggest thing I am reaching for here is acceptance for children on the spectrum.
I have personally seen the damage done by pure lack of awareness of autism and just what goes on with these kiddos.
People think they are weird because they do things differently then them.
It saddens me when someone makes another child feel like there's something wrong with them because they don't do things like everyone else.
We all do things in different ways and there's nothing wrong with that.
Like I tell my girls there's more then one way to build a house.
Just because someone on the spectrum may need to do something differently to reach the same outcome does not make them weird.
We as neurotypical people don't always do things by the book either we find what works best for us.
Don't Be Afraid To Speak Out On How To Accept Autism
Bullying is on a rise in the schools and even work places.
I have witnessed this with my daughter's who both have been victims of bullying since they started school.
Kids calling them weird or mocking them not wanting to be there friend because they act differently then them.
Talk to your kids and make them aware that not all kids may act like they do.
Just because you may not have a family member who is on the spectrum does not mean that your child will not encounter someone in school or their work place who is.
1 in 54 children are diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder.
Spreading awareness starts with the parents teaching your kids to be kind and loving to others.
If you see someone treating someone else poorly don't be afraid to speak out or tell someone because the child may not be able to tell for themselves.
I hope that this helps you learn how too accept autism in our world.
Be the example and teach others that accepting autism is so important.
People will learn by the example you set.
Treat others how you would like to be treated.