Talking to your child’s class about autism can be a scary thing to think about? Will the students use the information to make fun of your child or will the information help the other students understand him or her better?
Some parents choose to make the presentation themselves while others have the teacher talk about differences between children and how everyone is unique. This could be a way to talk about differences without singling your child out.
Antidotally, we have heard having this conversation at the beginning of the year can help children in the class be more accepting and patient with your child.
- You can decide if you want to use the word autism, or talk about everyone is unique.
- Use books or videos to help. We have a list of resources below.
- You can’t tell that someone has autism by looking at them.
- Explain how your child is similar to the other students. What if your child’s favorite TV show or movie, what they like to eat, play with, favorite color, favorite things to do, etc.
- Be open about differences and answering any questions the children may have. Many students will want to know “Why does he do this?” Sometimes, that answer is “he is still learning how to _______.” and sometimes a blanket statement of “I don’t know” may be appropriate.
- Ask the students to help by explaining the rules. Kids with autism want to play, too! Besides asking your friend if he wants to play, it can be helpful if you explain what the rules of the game are.