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Acceptance: Why Is It Important To Teach Your Children?

As many of you know, April is Autism Awareness Month- a month we dedicate to individuals with autism to help bring awareness and acceptance of these individuals within our community. This is a great opportunity to educate your children on the topic of acceptance, why it is important and ways to demonstrate it in everyday life. Are you wondering the best way to approach this conversation with your child in a way they will understand? Fortunately, this blog will dive into the topic of acceptance, specifically with autism as well as how to foster acceptance with diverse groups of people. 

First and foremost, what is autism and what are some of the things these individuals struggle with? 

Autism is a spectrum, meaning every individual with autism may present a little differently. Some of the things an individual with autism struggles with are executive functioning skills, sensory processing, repetitive behaviors, motor skills, social awareness, verbal and nonverbal communication, information processing, and perseverative thinking. 

What is acceptance?

Acceptance is welcoming people of all different backgrounds, despite how they may look, what they believe in, their socioeconomic status, their intellectual abilities. Treating every individual with respect, including them in everyday events, and helping them to be productive members of the community is the goal in developing an inclusive community. 

How do I explain autism in a way my child will understand? 

Explaining any new concept to your child is difficult let alone explaining a diagnosis that’s  extremely complex and can look different amongst individuals. All individuals have things that come easy to them and things that are not so easy. Autism can be explained as a difference in the brain not a disease or disorder. Someone with autism most likely struggles with basic communication skills and understanding what others think and feel. It is important to teach your child about diverse populations, how to appropriately interact and what to expect when interacting with various individuals. Explaining to your children that these individuals may have difficulty making eye contact, staying on topic, difficulty with sensory input, engaging in movements such as stimming, making friends, and understanding peer emotions. 

Sharing these details with your child can help them feel more comfortable and prepared when interacting with diverse populations. You can explain how your child can help these individuals by asking them to play, waiting for them to respond, understanding they may have niche interests, and recognizing when something may be too overwhelming for them. 

Why is it important to teach your child about autism? 

  1. Promotes understanding and acceptance
  2. Reduced stigma and misconceptions
  3. Facilitates communication and support 

Below you can find additional resources to help you explain the topic of autism and acceptance: