How To Teach Children About Autism

Let’s face it: children have a mind of their own, and, for the most part, they like to speak their mind, even if what they say isn’t necessarily appropriate. However, as parents, it is important that we encourage their ability to speak their minds while also guiding them through social etiquette as well. Although the basic aspects of social interaction are quickly taught, the more specific instances are all too often forgotten in the mix, and, in a world that prides itself on diversity, it is crucial that these eccentricities are embraced from people of all ages.

The unfortunate part of this is that many children are born with the differences the average child knows little to nothing about. In turn, ridicule often ensues, and the effects are not only devastating but completely unnecessary. In fact, by taking the time to sit down with your child and tell them about these specific instances, you can not only help create a more inclusive and compassionate generation but also help your child to not judge a book by its cover, and to show respect to other human beings, no matter what they face or who they are.

What Does Being A High-Functioning Autistic Mean?

For over 42 million children across the globe, the autism spectrum is something they are associated with on a daily basis. However, despite the large number of autistic children in our world, many young individuals know very little about what it truly means to be on the autism spectrum, the common and completely inaccurate stereotypes associated with high-functioning autism or how it affects you socially and emotionally.

In fact, not only do recent studies prove that there is a growing concern of suicide for individuals with high-functioning autism (Asperger’s syndrome) due to a sense of isolation they feel, but they also prove that adults with Asperger’s are 10 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts as well. This is primarily due to the fact that the common stereotypes associated with Autism are negative and lead to a limited social engagement, a lack of lasting relationships and a continual and deliberate attack on these individuals’ characters as well.

However, the truth is that high-functioning autistic individuals are not “slow,” “aggressive” or “incapable.” In fact, many of them are modern-day celebrities and entrepreneurs that accredit their genius to their syndrome and how it affects their minds and their social abilities. With a rise in both success stories from individuals facing high-functioning autism and media portrayals of autism bringing a new light to people on the spectrum, it is clear that, more than ever, the topic of autism is a hot-button topic in our society. It is highly important that it is addressed in a way that not only helps our world grow but also learn as well.

Teach Them to Ignore Stereotypes

There are many stereotypes and misconceptions unfortunately associated with Asperger’s, both from the media and from basic human judgement. However, perhaps one of the most common misconceptions is that vaccines cause autism. The truth is that this is highly inaccurate and actually has been the cause for many viral outbreaks nationwide. Another major misconception about Asperger’s syndrome is that individuals with Asperger’s are somehow “slow” or “incapable of work” when, in fact, new studies show that individuals with Asperger’s are some of the best employees because of their condition and what it entails.

There are many reasons that this stereotype came to be, including media representations of Autism and the fact that, for years, individuals on the spectrum were cast aside in classrooms and given very little direction. For instance, to see the negative representations of this syndrome in action, all you simply have to do is turn to the comedy movie and television genre.

However, despite these films and shows portraying autism in a rather negative way, there is a definitive reason as to why the best examples of negative portrayals are from so long ago. Since then, the media has begun to recognize how important it is to incorporate believable autistic characters and has done so with grace in more than a few movies and shows.

Furthermore, with the implementation of programs such as game-based online learning, it has become easier than ever for autistic students to learn in an interactive manner that doesn’t suppress their desire for knowledge based on their syndrome. With this said, it is highly important that you teach your children that these stereotypes are nothing more than just assumptions, and that respect comes first in any and all interactions.

Help Them to Learn the Meaning of Respect

When it comes to respect, all too often individuals on the spectrum are treated as though they can’t understand complex concepts, which can be extremely frustrating as high-functioning autistics tend to be extremely intelligent and informed. Therefore, it is important that the younger generations are aware of the fact that being treated like anyone else is extremely important to individuals with Asperger’s.

A great way to teach this concept is by not only explaining what Asperger’s is but also making this information and idea of tolerance more readily accessible through the use of books that teach respect, such as My Brother Charlie, and media forms which address autism in a positive way, such as The Guardians of The Galaxy films. By doing this, you can help them learn respect and what being autistic means in a way they understand, so they can then be aware of how to interact with other children and individuals with autism.

In the end, the key is to make the information easy to understand and to teach future generations that being different is okay. After all, it takes one person caring to turn an entire group around, and with the right tools, your child can be that person for years to come, creating a brighter and more inclusive world through one kind action at a time.

Related:
Could Video Games Help Kids With Autism Exercise?
How I Overcame 5 Stereotypes About Asperger’s
5 Myths to Stop Believing About Loneliness

Samantha Donaldson is a full-time traveling journalist for boisepulsemusic.com as well as an advocate for Asperger’s syndrome awareness. When she isn’t busy writing articles in the fields she is most passionate about, Samantha loves to spend her time with her adorable deaf rescue pug, Pugsley, and her fiance, Joel, traveling the nation. You can follow her travels on her Instagram.

123 comments

Maria P
Martha P3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

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Cici A
Cici Aabout a year ago

Hello, I am a Belgian mother of 17-year old son with autism. My son is verbal,followed normal education with help from me, his issues : shyness, constipation, concentration problems, problems with maturity, practically no friends because interaction with people is difficult, parasite, yeast on him, acne, kind of dandruff on top of his head. Since the age of 8, we have been trying a lot of natural supplements, hospitals med and i have wasted a lot of money trying to make him became a man and live freely without being intimidated by friends in the neighbor hood also to get him better and more focused for school matters and his general health. Nothing ever seems to pull through not until one day, i decided to share his situation to a very close friend of mine who claims there is an herbal man who cured her 12 years old son called Baba Alika and has also helped a lot of women to cure their children's Autism. quickly i contacted his email: babaalikahealinghome@gmail.com been giving to me by miss Ava, just to give him a test, i spoke to him he asked me to purchase his Autism roots herbs and seed oil which i did, he promised to send it as soon as purchased and thereafter i received it and start to use the Autism herbal med immediately on him for only 7 days instructed by Baba Alika. it was unbelievable after 21 days i was my son totally cured and free from Autism disgrace and embarrassment. There was so much improvement. He seems to get more

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joan silaco
joan silaco1 years ago

TYFS

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE1 years ago

Thank you

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Carol S
Carol S1 years ago

Thanks

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Richard A
Richard A1 years ago

Thank you for this article.

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Julia S
Julia S1 years ago

Thank you!

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Elizabeth O
Elizabeth O1 years ago

Thanks for the article.

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Paula L
Paula L1 years ago

Thanks!

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