When it comes to living with, interacting with, and loving a person with an autism spectrum disorder, there are several things neurotypicals need to keep in mind and be aware of. That is because people with autism see and experience the world differently than others do. That doesn’t mean they are less, of course; they are just different. And different is okay!
The young man in the video below, Elijah John Kihlstadius, was recently diagnosed with autism (at the time the video was recorded, at least). He made the video for the sake of spreading true autism awareness—not just random facts and statistics about the disorder, but things people truly need to know about those on the spectrum. In it, he discusses five things people with autism want neurotypicals to know, as well as five ways to care for someone on the autism spectrum.
While the tips and tidbits he shares apply to many people with autism, they certainly do not encapsulate the feelings and experiences of everyone on the spectrum. That’s because everyone with autism is different. So while this video can be helpful, it’s just a starting point to guide you in your interactions. It’s always important to take the individual with autism into account. As he says, if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.
Check out what he has to say!
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.