Thursday, September 08, 2011

How to explain autism to children

I've gotten a lot of great feedback about the series of posts I wrote about talking to Bud's fourth grade class about autism.  The initial post - A Hairdryer Kid in a Toaster-Brained World - has been especially well-received.

I've also gotten feedback that the posts are difficult to find and that people stumble upon them after they Google something like "talking to kids about autism" and are directed through a circuitous route of posts that reference each other, until they land here.

So this is a housekeeping post.  The title should help bump it higher in the Google hit list and, therefore, help people find the blog more easily.  And if you've landed here because you've Googled something like "explaining autism to kids" or "helping children understand autism," then I encourage you to click here to read the whole series.

(And also:  Welcome!  Come back soon!  We also have a Facebook page...)


*m* said...

Great idea. This series of posts was perfection.

Alysia said...

Terrific idea. I'll be sharing this everywhere.

Ami said...

Gives me the opportunity to thank you once again for taking the time to write all that so beautifully and publicly appreciate your kindness in allowing me to print and share with people I work with and two parents of autistic children.

Erika said...

Hi, MOM-NOS--I send everybody I can think of to these posts. Thank you for them.

Just wondering--have you (or has anybody else) given thought to how to talk to an autistic child about autism?

I've just been thinking about this because I have a dear friend who, like you, has suffered terrible perinatal loss, and she has raised her 3 year old to know, lovingly and matter-of-factly, that she had two little brothers but they died. Similarly but more happily, I have a friend with a son we think may be gay and she's doing everything she can with her casual remarks, etc., to normalize gayness for him.

I have some ideas of my own--for instance, I try to use very specific rather than labeling language with him and in his hearing ("He's still learning how to be brave and calm with dogs" rather than, say, "Sorry--he's phobic because he's autistic!" or, "Speech therapy is really helping you to learn how to have conversations" rather than, say, "Your a pragmatic speech delay is less noticeable these days").

But this is something really on my mind. I don't think my kid is quite old enough to be noticing or wondering that much (he's 7, with PDD-NOS, and he *is* asking a few questions about death, just for example). He doesn't seem to dwell on his differences with other kids, and he's in a school with kids like him. But it's just like the sex talk--they may be ready before we're ready.

Any thoughts, anybody? Can you share with us, MOM-NOS, how you and Bud have talked about these things, if you have? (I remember: what do the kids in your class like? they like me!)



neil said...

You have probably covered this somewhere, but have you any advice for talking to your own autistic child about their condition?

My 11yo daughter often begins talking about autism by saying 'I'm different.' So I'm then explaining that we're ALL different, whilst wondering how much of her autism to acknowledge.

I'm getting a bit stuck there, any advice would help.

LaurenAct513 said...

That is a great idea! I've told many people about these posts and this blog. The analogy you made has helped me explain things many times, especially when something happens at the library where my son accidentally hurts a kids feelings by telling them to go away. Thanks again.

TurnToYourInnerSmile Blog said...

Is the topic connected with your education or maybe is it more about your leisure and ways to spend your free time?

Unknown said...

Always keep your smile. That's how I explain my long life. See the link below for more info.