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  • Writer's pictureAmy Dougley

Talking to your child with autism about their differences

Some parents ask if they should talk to their autistic children about their differences. The short answer is: YES!


Another question parents ask is how they should talk to their child. Here are some considerations when speaking to your child about their autism:


1. Educate yourself and your child on what autism really is and how it impacts a person. Look for resources to better understand brain differences and common experiences of people with autism.


2.    Keep the conversation casual and ongoing.


3.    Promote an open and safe atmosphere where your child feels free to ask questions and share their thoughts and feelings with you.


4.    Talk with your child about how an autistic brain takes in information differently (you might explain that this is why noise or bright light hurts or why they need a break in some situations).


5.    Emphasize that having a different brain does not mean less or bad; it’s just different (you might explain a comparison such as: there are different kinds of cars and they all do different things).


6.    Talk about how the autistic brain has many unique strengths. For example, autism can help someone:

  • Think creatively/”outside of the box”

  • Have deep focus

  • Be very honest        

  • Pay attention to detail

  • Have a strong memory


7.    Talk about emotions/feelings and practice self-regulation with your child.


8.    Be patient and be kind! As parents/caregivers, we have the opportunity to help our kids feel safe, confident and proud of who they are!


This blog was created by Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, Alisa Gagne with help from Robbie and Alyssa who provided their invaluable perspectives on how to talk to your child with autism. We thank them for their participation!


For more information about our services at Pathways To Hope call us at 519.751.0728 or email pathwaystohopebrant@gmail.com





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