I was reading a post about a mom who encountered a child with Autism trying to integrate and learn how to play appropriately at a park with other children. The child with Autism hit her child and she wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. I appreciated her willingness to ask how to handle the situation and it showed compassion and empathy. The responses from other moms was heartbreaking. “I would tell my kid to stay away from kids like that” and “I would tell that mom to get her child under control.” However, there was a lot of moms who were compassionate and really just wanted to know how to teach their kids about other kids with Autism. Hence my blog today.
I am going to tell you what we told our son Tucker (5) when trying to explain to him why Wyatt acts differently then other kids and has Autism.
- Autism is when a child has a hard time processing things and make take a little longer to respond or do something you want him to do. (I keep it very simple for kids to understand)
- Wyatt can be very hyper and excited when playing with other kids and has a hard time with following rules or having boundaries and might stand to close to you. He might scream really loudly because he is very excited your playing with him and just doesn’t realize how loud he is.
- When out in public, he can become overwhelmed with sounds and lights and has a hard time focusing. So if you ask him to stop doing something and he keeps doing it, it is because he mind is overwhelmed with noises. You might need to ask a few times to get their attention.
- A child with Autism can have a hard time processing their words and being able to express themselves. For example, he might be upset because he really wants a turn on the slide but instead of telling you, he can get upset or scream.
- Wyatt can be very physical and like to bounce of couches, or tackle you because it makes his body feel good. He doesn’t have a sense of where his body is so his body has to be always touching something and the more pressure he puts on his body, the better.
- Some children with Autism don’t like to be touched at all and might get upset if you try and hug them or touch them.
- Children with Autism don’t understand if you are happy, sad, laughing, or mad. So, if you are running around playing tag and touch them on the shoulder, he might think you are hitting him and not playing.
Most importantly that we tell our kids that children with Autism have feelings and being compassionate and empathetic towards them if key. That they work hard with therapists to work on their symptoms and they can be great friends.
I get asked a lot the best ways to teach their children about other kids with Autism, so I hope this blog helped. Remember that these are very general items and that every child with Autism is different. I love it when parents or kids ask me about Wyatt to better understand him, so please reach out to the parents. We will tell you with pride, everything about our Wyatt.