This is a mini-guide for parents to think about autistic matters and perspectives they may not know about, and which may help them and their kids live the Best Lives Possible.
If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism, as my son was in 2003, here’s what I want you to know: Learn from me, don’t be me.
Since I didn’t know I was autistic, I just assumed there was something wrong with me and that I deserved what I got. I learned that intrinsically, I was less than a person, since I didn’t have a framework to tell me otherwise.
I regret that I didn’t give my non-speaking son the opportunities to display an interest in things that I assumed he wouldn’t understand. I regret that my assumptions limited him when they should have been expanding his world.
Autism acceptance, for the author, means recognizing that her autistic daughter “already is happy; she has a good life. So do a lot of people who go with their humanity unrecognized and unacknowledged.”
I love that the expectation is that he has an opinion, wants to learn, and we just haven’t figured out all the best ways to help him communicate. It is comforting to know that they meet him where he is, but demand much of him.
When it comes to Halloween and autistic kids, parents need to be clear-headed, creative, and flexible, and prioritize our kids’ needs and stamina. So, if you’re in the market for Halloweening advice, let me dump some on your head, courtesy of personal experience, friends’ adventures, and the Internet.
We are adamant about taking our autistic son on as many outings as we can, to stores, movies, restaurants, parks, and other destinations. We want him to be a dude-about-town so he gets used to being part of our community, and our community gets used to him.