What NOT To Say To A Parent Of A Child With Autism. (And What To Say Instead).
Just as every child experiences autism in a different way, parents of children with autism have different sensitivities to the way other people talk about and treat them and their children. What one parent might find helpful, another may see as offensive, and over stepping a boundary. Each parent’s ability to extend grace to some of the offensive things thrown their way by well-intentioned and concerned friends may depend on how recent the diagnosis was, how early it was detected, or where on the spectrum their child is. Let’s be honest here, our reactions to certain questions and ignorance probably change day to day, but here are a few things we can all agree need to stop. Here’s what not to say; and what to say instead.
9. He can’t have autism because…
As parents of a child with autism, trust us when we say that we’ve already gone down that road. We’ve brought up all the points you are about to make, and yet… Our child has autism. It was hard to accept, and sometimes it’s still a daily struggle. So even though you think you are offering hope or a second opinion, you’re actually more of a 37th opinion, and you’re making it that much harder for us to come to terms with the diagnosis. Instead, ask us about autism! We have a ton of knowledge!
Instead, say: I’m new to autism, can you tell me more about it?