Raising children with life-long conditions is one of the toughest things a parent can do in his or her life. Kristi Campbell can attest to this.
In her article on AutismSpeaks, she opens up about the challenges she faces on a daily basis, and then asked other parents who had autistic children what they wished people knew about the disorder.
Here are their answers:
1. “People don’t need to feel awkward when they’re around my son. Yeah, they may need to treat him a little differently, but I wish they wouldn’t be weirded out.”
2. “Not all autism is the same.”
3. “People seem to think that because my son isn’t like the one single other person they know on the spectrum, that he must not be autistic.”
4. “These kids love. They need love. They are wonderful and bring enormous joy and laughter to those who love them.”
5. “Knowing one child with autism doesn’t mean anything really–they’re all so different. Please don’t tell me my son doesn’t have it because he looks so different from the other kid you know on the spectrum.”
6. “Kids with special needs are smart. Talented. Creative, and thoughtful. It may not be obvious all the time – their minds work differently.”
7. “If my daughter is making strange noises, feel free to look. She’s just making them because she’s excited. Please don’t stand there and gape at us with your mouth hanging open.”
8. “If you see my son in a grocery store, he may be head nuzzling, chewing on the corner of his shirt, or spinning. He’s anxious. I will not scold him, so please do not look at me as if I should. He can’t help how his body receives stimuli. He is trying to cope with the way his body is affected by his surroundings.”
9. “From onlookers who think I am not addressing my child’s odd behaviors: I ask for a little empathy. Don’t judge. Try to understand that his environment strongly affects him.”
10. “Please accept our kids the way that you assume we will accept yours.”
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