6 Tips to Explain Autism to a Child
If you have an autistic child then you will at some point find yourself explaining his condition to other children.
Here are some tips that can help make the process of explaining your child’s autism a bit easier.
Tips to Explain Autism to a Child
Use age-appropriate language and examples: Children of different ages will have different levels of understanding and will need explanations that are tailored to their developmental level. For example, younger children may benefit from the use of simple terms (his mind works differently), while older children may be able to understand more complex concepts.
Focus on the strengths and abilities of your autistic child: Children may be more likely to understand and accept autism if they understand that autistic individuals have unique strengths and abilities. Explain that every individual is different and that your autistic child may have some different ways of communicating or interacting with others.
Use real-life examples: Provide examples of how autism may affect your child’s daily life. For example, you can explain that your child may have a hard time understanding nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language, so they may need more time or extra help to understand what is being said.
Encourage empathy and understanding: Explain that autism is not something that can be “cured” or changed, but rather it is a part of who your autistic child is. Encourage them to be patient and understanding of the difficulties that your autistic child may experience and to be kind and respectful.
Be honest and open: Be honest about any challenges that your autistic child may face. If your child will need more attention make sure that your other children know about it.
Encourage interaction and friendship: Encourage other children to interact and spend time with your autistic child. This can help to build understanding and acceptance, as well as fostering friendship.
Additionally, there are many aids that can help explain your child’s condition.
Books that Help Explain Autism to Children
We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3! by Leslie Kimmelman: This book is a simple and accessible introduction to autism for young children, featuring three friends with autism who share their unique experiences and abilities.
My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete: This book tells the story of a young girl named Riley who has a brother with autism. It is a heartwarming story that helps children understand and accept differences in others.
“Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes” by Jennifer Elder: This book is an introduction to famous historical figures, scientists, and artists who have autism. It’s a great way to help children understand that people on the spectrum can achieve great things.
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca: This book is a biography of Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned scientist and animal behavior expert who has autism. The book is a great way to introduce children to the concept of autism and the diversity of experiences and abilities of those on the spectrum.
All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann: This book uses cats as a metaphor for people with Asperger Syndrome. It’s a lighthearted and fun way to help children understand the characteristics and challenges of the condition.
Movies that Help Explain Autism
Rain Man (1988): This classic film stars Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman and tells the story of an irresponsible young man who learns about his estranged brother, who has autism, and the two embark on a journey of self-discovery and understanding.
Temple Grandin (2010): This HBO movie is a biographical film that tells the story of Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned scientist and animal behavior expert who has autism. The film is based on her memoirs and shows how she overcomes her challenges and becomes successful.
Mercy Christmas (2017): This indie film tells the story of a young boy with autism who is taken in by a family who has to learn to deal with his condition and accept him for who he is. It provides a heartwarming story about acceptance and understanding.