The other day I wrote Ten Things Not to Say to a Parent of an Autistic Child. Then I thought maybe we should tell them what they should say.
Parents feel overwhelmed, under appreciated, and alone in raising a child with autism. In many cases it tears a family apart. It would definetly help if people gave them some kind words or even a little help.
So today I am going to give a list of things I think parents of a child with autism would love to hear from people or businesses.
- You have a beautiful child. Just like every other parent, we would like to hear something nice about or kids. Anything would do like she is smart, beautiful, fun, caring, etc. We want people to see the good that's there instead of all the bad things they are focusing on.
- I will respect her space and not touch her. I have a problem with people that do not believe their actions will bother my child. They insist on touching, teasing or just invading their space even after I tell them it bothers her.
- Do you need any help? I would love for someone to ask me if I needed help, even if I decline it.
- I see you are having a problem would you like to move to the front of the line? We all know how hard it is to take a child with autism to the store. Wouldn't it be nice if, when your child is melting down, people would let you go ahead of them instead of staring and making rude comments.
- Bring them to the restaurant anytime! Same thing as the stores. Wouldn't it be nice to be welcomed in a restaurant instead of them cringing when you walk through the door.
- Can I babysit for you? I know that we would never leave our child with anyone unless that person fully understood them and their needs. However, I would sure appreciate it if they offered!
- Is there anything we can do to make her feel more secure when we are around. I really like it when someone takes the time to find out what my child likes or doesn't like. They will have a better experience and see her instead of the autism.
- We are having an autism friendly day at______. Our children are like any other child, they like to have fun. Having autism stops most kids from going to the fun places because it is either too crowded, too bright, or too loud. It is nice when a business recognizes this and has an autism friendly day for our kids to enjoy. It also helps the parents make new friends.
- We would like to invite her to the birthday party. My child would love to get invited to birthday parties. She has only been to one girl's birthday party and she really had a good time. Even if you don't go it's nice to be asked. My daughter really wants a sleepover too.
- You are doing a great job and you are an amazing mother! Every mother likes to be told they are a great mother and doing a great job raising their kids!
These are things I have thought about, but every child and family is different. Please feel free to add your thoughts.