I have seen friends of mine who’ve posted about news of a child being banned from a school trip because of their autism.
This has also mentioned kids who are not invited to birthday parties or not selected for sports teams because it’s more important to win than include them.
And it says that all autistic kids want is what other kids want, to be accepted.
I fully endorse this, and I say other things can be done.
Shows such as Spelling Bee may not attract the ratings that rugby league does, BUT, many autistic kids have special talents. If you have an autistic child who has a special talent, such as spelling, maths, history, science, and technology, encourage and nurture that talent, don’t ridicule it!
If a kid wants to be in a team, let them. Remember, there is no money in kids’ sports and it’s the adults’ responsibility to encourage the attitude that it may be nice to win, but they don’t have to.
And, if your kid has no interest in sport, don’t force it!
If you have an autistic kid in your class, or an autistic colleague or whatever, don’t, and I cannot stress the importance of this enough, don’t say that you are having a party or gathering and ask them if they’d like to come if you have no intention of actually doing so.
Yes, I know we all say things like, “We’ll have to catch up sometime,” and maybe that is just meant as a social grace, BUT, autistic people take things literally.
Yes, they might indeed be thinking, “Look, it’s been nice chatting with you just now in the supermarket, but chance catch-ups are all I’m after.” Yes, there are different levels of friendship, the person you chat to who you know from school might be happy to talk to you, at school (or, if you’re a parent while waiting for the kids) or who you see walking the dog might talk to you while walking the dog, but not want to come to your house for a barbecue.
So be mindful of these things, if you know an autistic person. We might appreciate a chat with you and appreciate inclusion, but other times, we might have nothing more in common with you than the same breed of dog. Nurture our talents, and don’t say things you don’t mean.
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