National Autism Awareness Month!
Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. This year they wanted to go beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators to become partners in movement toward acceptance and appreciation.
BE A CHAMPION! Support a Person on the Spectrum
LISTEN: Listen and give your friend or relative with ASD time to respond. It may take a little longer or you may go through a lengthy explanation. However, you will learn something new in the end!
TIME: Learn about his or her favorite interests or hobbies.
ENCOURAGE: Build up your loved one’s confidence in the same way you would support any friend. Always strive to encourage and be compassionate to friend or relative with ASD.
SHOW: Help your friend or relative work on their social skills by providing a positive example. Try to engage them in conversations with yourself and others.
TIPS TO COMMUNICATE with people who have Autism
SPACE: Sensory issues can cause extreme stress and anxiety for those on the spectrum. Be sure to provide space to help them feel comfortable. Let the individual choose where to sit, stand, or pace.
CLEAR COMMUNICATION: Say what you mean and communicate clearly. Some individuals on the spectrum need specific and detailed information about what will happen, when it will happen, or why it will happen. Be concrete and to the point
CHOICES: Start making the “choice option” a part of your interaction. Having choices offers control and can help reduce anxiety and stress for some people on the spectrum. For example, what a person can do, in what order they do things, who can participate, when to take a break, what to eat, or what to wear. These are just a few examples.
PATIENCE: You are telling someone they are worth your time and attention when you are patient it communicates respect and caring.
NO TWO PEOPLE ALIKE: No two people with autism are alike it is important to keep that in mind when interacting with individuals on the spectrum. Everyone is different and has their own unique talents and abilities and should be honored and respected for their differences.
For more information and resources visit www.autism-society.org/differences. Do you need to speak with someone now? Call the Autism Society’s National Contact Center Help Line at 800-3-Autism (800-328-8476) or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking for support services or local information about autism.