Often, I’m asked if I have any advice for parents of children with autism. Although there is not a “one size fits all” answer to this question, I typically start with something very simple. Parents should work to spend as much time as they can listening to their children and learning about them.
One thing that often helps people on the autism spectrum, is being able to answer the question, “why?”
Any time you do something, be ready for someone with autism to say, “Why did you do that?” And if you want them to develop the same habits as you, or the same values as you, be ready to talk about why you do the things you do. Clear explanation is key!
For example, why do you clean when you do, why you do anything when you do it, why do you keep the schedule you do. But I urge parents to also pay attention to why their child does what they do. This comes with learning and listening, as mentioned above.
Watch what they do, when they do it, and watch what their interests are. And try, if you can, if they’re verbal, to engage in dialogue about why. And if they’re not verbal, try to think of as many reasons as possible as to why this might be. Think beyond just why you would do it, and think about reasons why someone with autism might behave the way they do an do things a certain way. Put yourself in their shoes and show some empathy, because the biggest tool you have for getting along is understanding, not just knowing.
A true, in-depth understanding of why a person on the spectrum and a person not on the spectrum each do different things is a major key in fostering quality relationships — specifically for parents who have difficulties understanding their children who have autism.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section of the post.
I hope you all enjoy!