1. Lelah
    September 1, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

    I have four boys, and my third has Autism. I made a conscience decision from the get-go to be open and honest. To try and explain, in order to educate. Maybe it was because I remember fighting with my mother about my (much) younger brother having *something* different than his psych diagnosis’ with similar symptoms (he was diagnosised with Aspbergers in his 30s, after my son was diagnosised with HFA). Maybe it was because my oldest was in the inclusionary class in kinder and first and had a child with ASD in his classes. Maybe it was the little neighbor kid who had Autism. I’m not sure. I just knew it was important to not make it shameful. I mean, he could no more help his Autism than his brown eyes. We won’t be ashamed if it were anything else–cerebral palsy, for example.

    Our first week of school was last week. They did an ‘About Me’ bag. We put in an Autism Awareness pin. He told his class he had Autism and that means he thinks and learns differently (a well rehearsed speech). In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be in there reading books about kids with Autism during Reading Week when parents are invited in to read. I’ll have his teachers set aside a little time for some Autism Education while my son is in speech or SPED, so his class can answer questions. It helps. Little by little. Each year we accomplish a little more. Our big goal this year is to make a friend. This year, in third grade, I have high hopes. Talking about it helps. It might not have made him a friend (yet), but it increases the tolerance and understanding.

    Pass out the cards.


  2. mariekeates
    September 2, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, handing out those cards will make people understand a bit better


  3. Cate Pane: The Clear Parent
    September 5, 2014 @ 9:21 am

    Love this post! I can understand that seeing a diagnosis written in big letters on a chart would evoke emotion in you. Children are human beings first. They are not an autistic child. They are a child with autism. I have dealt with a similar issue and wrote a research paper about this very subject. Your son’s diagnosis can help understand his behavior but my dream is that someday we will all see humans as people first. Thank you, once again, for your excellent writing!


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