8 things Autism Parents wish you knew

My friend, Shikha’s son- Krish was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. It all started when Krish’s teacher brought to her notice to a few things that she saw amiss. Krish’s playschool teacher noticed that he rarely made eye contact with her or the other children in class and kept to himself most of the time.

Both Shikha and her husband were already worried by the time his teacher brought this up. Krish is their first child and they were not sure why he was not matching the developmental milestones that were right for his age. Both of them tried singing rhymes and songs played games like ring-a-ring-a-roses, a simple Simon, etc. but they noticed that he responded to all this rather impartially, which was basically, no reaction. He would rarely laugh or smile and often come across as forlorn. That was when Shikha took Krish to a child development specialist.

Krish is now ten-years-old and goes to a special school for autistic children. While helping out Krish with his symptoms, the pediatric psychologist had introduced Shikha to the Forum for Autism, which opened up a world of opportunities for them. They met people going through similar situations here, leading pretty normal lives. This group also directed them to a special school for autistic children.

Over the years, being with Krish and autism taught them the necessity of appreciating, loving and respecting all children for exactly who they are, and demanding respect and understanding from anyone who encounters them. According to Shikha, parenting Krish has turned her into a more empathetic person after dealing with society treating them differently and the various challenges that are thrown at them.

Here’s what Shikha has to say on behalf of all autistic children and parents:

1. People don’t need to feel awkward when they’re around an autistic child. These kids might want to be treated a little differently, but they don’t, in the least bit intend to scare or discomfort others.

2. These kids need love and can give love as much as any other child. They are wonderful and hold immense warmth and love towards others.

3. Knowing one child with autism doesn’t mean you understand the symptoms and characteristics of all these kids – two children with autism can behave very differently. Please try not to be judgmental and consultative because every kid is different from the other you know with autism.

autism in kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

4. When you meet these kids and see them snuggling, drooling, or spinning, don’t be judgemental. These are signs of anxiousness. I don’t reprimand my son for behaving a certain way. That is the way they understand to express emotions. My son can’t help how his body reacts in different situations. He is trying to cope with it and he wants to be one of you, desperately!

5. Kids with special needs are smart, talented, creative, and exceedingly sensitive. There are many famous people, very successful, who were affected by autism in their childhood. Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darvin, Isaac Newton, Mozart and Bill Gates are few people who were diagnosed with this disorder.

6. Autistic children might sometimes make strange noises. It will really help if people can be a little more sensitive towards this. Staring and gaping at children while they are doing this will make them feel embarrassed and further agitate them. Most of the times, they make these sounds because they are excited and want to express it.

7. Also, please do not judge parents of these children, when they don’t reprimand a certain behaviour or action coming from their autistic child. The environment they are in strongly affects the child and they don’t deserve to scolded for this.

8. We and our children will feel relaxed and content if the society accepts us just the way other kids are accepted and treated.

Image source: Flickr

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