Explaining Autism to a Child

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Autism is a growing concern in the United States, as well as around the world. More and more boys and girls are being diagnosed with this neurological disorder every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 out of every 1,000 kids in the U.S. were diagnosed with autism last year. That is an eleven percent increase since 2008. This number has been going up drastically since the 1980’s, baffling many scientists and experts.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to interact with others, as well as their verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Symptoms and signs of autism are seen in kids as early as three years old, and without the proper care, this disorder can become far worse as time passes.

Autism is strongly associated with other types of agents that cause birth defects, such as pesticides, heavy metals and some types of vaccines. Others argue that autism is mostly related to genetics and rare mutations of certain kinds of genes.

It can be difficult to try and explain autism to other kids. Due to the increasing number of children with autism, chances are that your own son or daughter will have friends or classmates who have this disorder. Kids may not understand all of the symptoms of autism and may be fearful of the children who have it. Explaining autism to your child can be very helpful and diminish their fear and misconceptions about this horrible disorder.

Be sure to pick a quiet time so that you and your son or daughter can focus on the conversation at hand. When you start to discuss autism with your child, you need to avoid talking about a particular boy or girl in their lives unless you have cleared it with their parents first. A mom or dad has the right to know if any info is being given out about their child. You can also contact the parent to ask if there is any sort of advice that they can recommend talking to your kid about.

When you begin to answer the questions that your child has about the kid they know that has autism, refrain from labeling the child first. Remember, a kid is not an autistic child, they are a person who has autism. It is critical that your child can understand the difference in this. Answer their questions about types of behaviors or things that are happening by not using the label of autism. As your child gets older, they will have a better grasp of what this disorder is and how it affects those around it.

It is also important to tell your child that it is never okay to make fun of a kid with autism. Even if the child is acting out or using any types of autistic equipment, such as an airwalker swing, your child should never bully them. Tell them how everyone is different and unique in their own special way and if they come across a child who is different from them, they should not be afraid or resort to bullying.

Having a supervised play date with a kid with autism is also a good idea. You can talk to the parents of kids you know who have autism to arrange a date so that your child can meet them and be more exposed to the disorder. This way, your kid can have a better understanding of the disorder.

It is always a good idea to talk to your child about autism so that they are aware of it.