5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Autism Parent
World Autism Awareness Day: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Autism Parent
Did you know that about one in 68 kids is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? As prevalent as this condition may seem to be, it remains to be one of the most misunderstood diagnoses in the world today.
Bringing up a child with ASD is anything but easy. Autism parents experience challenges that parents of “normal” kids don’t understand. It’s not unusual for parents of children with autism to feel guilty, overwhelmed, confused, angry, and depressed.
Since April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, we would like to raise awareness about the children and their parents who face ASD every day.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
The best way to accommodate and accept those who are identified as “neurodiverse” or those who live with ASD is to understand that this disorder covers a wide range of conditions that are often characterized by challenges in terms of repetitive behaviors, social interactions, and communication. Furthermore, factors including genetics and the environment greatly influence most of ASD’s subtypes. Although indicators of this condition begin to appear by the age of 2 or 3, it’s possible for ASD to be diagnosed at 18 months.
Since ASD is a spectrum disorder, each neurodiverse individual has their own unique set of strengths, challenges, and skills. Their ability to solve problems, learn, and think can be range from being highly skilled to seriously challenged. Furthermore, some individuals with ASD are able to live independently while others need significant support in their day-to-day lives.
5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Parent of a Child with Autism
Since ASD has become increasingly prevalent these days, it’s common for most people to not know what to say whenever they find themselves conversing with autism parents. Unfortunately, some of those who attempt to express encouragement and support say things that bring the opposite effect. In the spirit of World Autism Awareness Day, Goodwill Car Donations shares a few examples of what you shouldn’t say to a parent of a child with autism.
- ‘Is your child a genius?’
People have this misconception that every child with autism is a genius or has some special kind of talent. However, the truth is that only 10 percent of those on the autism spectrum possess extraordinary musical or artistic gifts.
Instead of asking about their child’s savant qualities, try asking how their child is doing. This would allow the parent to talk about their child’s treatment or learning experience.
- ‘Your child looks so normal!’
Even if you were meaning to give a positive comment, most autism parents won’t take this statement as a compliment. Furthermore, in ASD communities, “normal” is replaced with a newer term, “neurotypical,” which is used to describe a person who has typical intellectual, cognitive, and developmental abilities.
Instead of telling them that their child looks normal and that no one could ever tell that they have ASD, why don’t you offer some other compliment that people use with any other neurotypical child? For instance, telling them that their little one is adorable would be better.
- ‘Are your other kids autistic, too?’
It’s never right to ask this question even if you’re aware of the fact that younger siblings of children with ASD have higher chances of having the same condition. Also, it’s best to refer to a kid with ASD as a “child with autism” rather than an “autistic child.” After all, we don’t refer to kids with cancer as “cancerous kids.”
- ‘All kids have meltdowns.’
While it’s perfectly normal for children to have temper tantrums, a full-scale autism meltdown is an entirely different story. When a child with autism experiences a meltdown, they don’t care about their parents’ reaction and their own safety. Furthermore, unlike neurotypical children, they couldn’t control their own behavior, couldn’t calm down, and couldn’t communicate their needs.
- ‘What’s the cause of your child’s autism?’
Although several theories state that the development of ASD can be caused by genetics, heredity, and environmental factors, the fact remains that there’s still no known single cause. For this reason, this is an extremely sensitive and emotionally charged subject for autism parents because many of them feel guilty about their child’s condition. Even if you’re curious to find out why their child has ASD, it’s best to say nothing.
Help Bring Positive Changes to Your Community
Did you know that donating a vehicle to Goodwill Car Donations will help bring positive changes to your local community? We’ll sell your donation and use the generated funds to support the vital programs and services of the Goodwill organizations based in your area.
These IRS-certified 501(c)3 nonprofits are focused on helping disadvantaged individuals reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. They provide their beneficiaries in your community with essential services such as skills and job training, career development, job placements, scholarships, youth employment, livelihood assistance, disability benefits, and other community-building support services.
As a donor, you’ll enjoy our free towing service. Your donation is also fully tax-deductible. We’ll send you a tax-deductible receipt, which you can use to claim your tax write-off when you file your itemized tax return in the next tax season.
We accept a wide range of vehicle types. Furthermore, we welcome even vehicles that need a lot of work.
Donate a Car to Help Others Now!
If you’re ready to make your corner of the world a better place for everyone, simply fill out our online donation form or call us at 866-233-8586. Today’s a great day to help others. Donate your car now!