This is inspired by Ellen Nothbohm’s book “Ten things your child with autism wish you knew….
1. I have feelings and emotions just like everyone else. I don’t always know how to express them and they sometimes overwhelm me. Talking about me or my behaviour while I am in the room is a very bad idea. I have autism- I am not deaf or stupid.
2. My parents did not make me this way by bad parenting. They are doing the best they can with what they know. I do not need to be medicated, punished or cured. I was born this way.
3. This is how God planned for me to be. It cannot be smacked out of me, nor will I grow out of it. If I am having a meltdown, don’t always assume that it’s because I didn’t get my own way. If my environment is crowded, noisy or action packed, my sensory system becomes overloaded.
4. I did not choose to be different. I just am. I am proud of who I am because I am unique. All autistic people are individuals and different to each other. Please do not pigeon hole or stereo-type me.
5.When you ask me a question….you need to wait for my answer. I need time to process it and may take more time than usual to answer. Please don’t hurry me, it will only cause me stress. I need to go at my own pace.
6. I need to complete my sentences in full. If you cut me off mid sentence or finish it for me, I will lose my momentum and get frustrated. This may cause me to meltdown.
7. If you are talking to me and you lean over and touch me- I may react badly. Please remember that you need to ask to touch me. I’m very sensitive to touch. What feels like a brush on the arm to you , feels like a razor blade to me. I need to be pre-warned.
8. Just because I don’t look you in the eye doesn’t mean I’m not listening to you. I find it almost impossible to do both at the same time.
9. I see things as either black or white. There is no grey. There’s no point trying to make me see otherwise. I am only 9. I still need to learn the social art of diplomacy.
10. I am trying my best to fit into “your” world, so please learn more about autism so you can understand mine.