Thursday, October 26, 2017

What Grown-Ups Should Know About Children with Autism

Although there are children with autism at almost every school in the country, few non-autistic adults
actually know what that entails.  Upon enrolling her son Zeke in school, Cara Thulin made sure the faculty of her son’s high school knew what to expect. In an open letter to the school, she explained that sometimes people with autism appear as though they are not paying attention or being rude, but in reality, they just have a different way of experiencing the world.  She went on to say that, since Zeke’s senses are stronger than most people’s, his brain focused primarily on protecting him from being overwhelmed instead of on learning social cues.  She hopes that her writing this letter will help both faculty members and students better understand and interact with her son. "If you see this kid, say 'Hi Zeke!' and don't get offended if he doesn't respond," she wrote. "He heard you. And he feels a little more confident now that someone knows his name. Ask if he's doing okay, if he likes class, or if he has any questions. Compliment his band t-shirts. He LOVES Panic! At the Disco. He may answer you. He may stare at the floor. He may run away. But he'll know that you care."  Thulin hopes that her letter will not only help her son, but will benefit other children with autism by giving others a better understanding of their world.

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