What does autism look like? It really looks like autism. There is no way of describing it particularly for an individual, and you may be up for a surprise, but if you do not want to offend families supporting with autistic individuals, here are some things you need to be aware of:
- Don’t feel awkward around individuals with autism. You don’t need to pity them, give them extra attention, or stare at them. Just treat them like all other children.
- Don’t assume that every other child who does not look normal is autistic. Although autism differs from case to case, even normal children sometimes behave differently from the larger majority.
- Children with autism love, and want to be loved. They can bring enormous joy and laughter to those who love them. Do not assume that the families of these children should be pitied upon.
- Every case differs from another: do not give parents advice based on other people with autism. And never tell a parent with an autistic child that the child doesn’t LOOK autistic.
- The minds of autistic people work differently: they are talented, creative and thoughtful. And they may not be comfortable showing off!
- You can hear these people making noises at times. That’s probably because they are excited. You can be surprised or astonished, we understand, but try not to stare.
- Do not give parents parenting advice if you see children with autism behaving improperly. They may be anxious, and their parents know best how to deal with them. They know enough, and they have been through enough to know, so there is a good reason to why they may not be scolding the child.
- Try to empathize. You want your children to be treated in a particular way, so do the parents of autistic children. Be more welcoming and acceptable.