Thursday, July 03, 2008

How To Talk To Someone With Autism Without Pulling Out Your Hair (Or Theirs!) PT. 2

Continuation of Part 1, yesterday's post on how to talk to a kid with autism.

  • 3. Be HONEST. Just tell him you can't talk about that right now. That you are busy, maybe later you can discuss it. He probably won't be hurt by it, he will appreciate your candor. But if you tell him this, know he has the memory of an elephant and long after you have forgotten? He will find you.
  • 4. Play a game. I Spy, "I'm Thinking of a Word..." "When I Go To the Moon I'm Bringing..." these are all good choices. But don't be surprised if he kicks your butt. The kid has an amazing attention to detail and his memory will blow you away.
  • 5. Engage in an activity you both enjoy. Go to a ball game. Do a craft. Find time for one-on-one. Just know we are working on good sportsmanship to board games and video games...win or lose, he will shake your hand and say, "Good game!" Be prepared.
  • 6. If all else fails, shoot me a look. I will rescue you both. Under no circumstances be unkind to him...he will remember it. as will I

Remember that he is a work in progress. He is really trying. If he is having a hard day, let me handle it. Please don't judge my parenting, or question my decisions. I know my son, I know what helps him calm and what triggers him to fall apart. And realize that just because yesterday he had a conversation with you about physics doesn't mean he can do it again today. He may be able to...in fact, he probably can.

But, the difficult thing with autism is that it is different everyday. I continue to teach him, and he continues to grow. And really, that growth is all we can really ask of anyone. Get to know my son...or any kid with autism. I would bet you will find a great kid with a really unique way of looking at things.

Aspergers truly makes the world go around. Silicon Valley? High population of Aspergers Syndrome. Computer engineers? Electrical engineers? Scientists? Maybe one day that will be my son, because he can hyperfocus. (his father is a software engineer, you connect the dots)

My son brings a lot of joy to my life, simply because he looks at things so much differently than I do. If I kept him at home, you would miss the chance to experience this. And really, diversity, neuro or otherwise, really does make the world go around. See you on the plane. Or in the grocery store. Maybe at the library...

T, who learned this all the hard way

5 sent chocolate:

Missy said...

I was going to comment on Part One, but all I came up with was 'Great post.' That still stands. Thank you.

hope said...

I found my way here from Ken Armstrong's site...and it was a real treat. :)

How can I not like a woman whose profile shows a love of chocolate and writing while using a sense of humor? I'll be back to visit. Have a great 4th!

Sarcasta-Mom said...

Once again, right on. You could seriously be writing for me about my son. Every day is different, with new challenges... and new rewards. Someday our brilliant boys will rule this world :)

jen said...

as an SLP working with many children with autism...
(and just as a mommy that encounters kiddos on the playground, in the pool, at the grocery store...)
THANK YOU. awesome post.
i hope everyone reads it.
i've always found it really helpful to remember that they get themselves back to their "fascination" of the day/week/month/year somehow...from something that was brought up in conversation. it's important for them to remember to keep me informed! (did that make any sense?) i often teach my students that they need to keep me up-to-date in our conversation. remember to use phrases like, "that reminds me" or "one time, at bandcamp..." (just kidding.)

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

These are good ideas. I teach students with ASD, so I conquer (sp?). I've had the pleasure of meeting some real characters in my classroom.

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