Published on 12, July, 2020
i am really struggling with how to explain to my almost 9 yr old son that he has traits in-line with an ASD diagnosis (we are in the process of getting a potential diagnosis and have been told it is highly likely) I feel it would help him to understand that he is not alone and that whilst he may see things differently from some people and react to things differently sometimes that there are lots of ways which I can find to help him, but it might take some time for us to do that.
I thought about the video on this website, but it talks about disability and has a pretty bleak outlook in terms of statics, he is lucky that he functions very well academically and manages to mask/hold things in at school, but that does make our home life difficult, I also don’t want to give him this label and tell him he is at a disadvantage in this way, I want him to see the positives as he already has low self esteem and started to get a bit worried when we were talking about being a bit different.
Does anyone have any child friendly resources they can recommend which might help me to explain to him as I feel like I’m really floundering here...
Teach him or her about Einstein. Einstein was autistic and it puts autism in a more positive light if you teach him about a positive role model who managed to succeed in life.
Tell him about Temple Grandin, Greta Thunberg, Guy Martin, famous autistic mathematicians, Elon Musk, Daniel Tammet, any autistic people who you think he might look up to :) Some autistic youtubers might…
These videos might be useful, very positive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezv85LMFx2E For non autistic audience but equally helpful, concise and positive.
Just thought of BBC Pablo, although it may be too young for him. Some of it seems to be on iPlayer, some on YouTube. Kind of has a story about a different trait each time:
Plenty of books on Autism for children too :)
Tell him about Temple Grandin, Greta Thunberg, Guy Martin, famous autistic mathematicians, Elon Musk, Daniel Tammet, any autistic people who you think he might look up to :) Some autistic youtubers might have content suitable for kids too, have a look.
A way of describing autism:
Everybody thinks differently, this is a strength. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Autism means your brain works differently and you have strengths and weaknesses that other autistic people share. Autism makes you unique and means you feel emotions and senses stronger than other people. Autism means some objects or hobbies are really important to you and make you really happy. Autism means that you may find some things difficult or feel scared in new situations. This is ok, we all need help sometimes.
I hope this helps.
The first video is really good. There are a lot of books by non-autistic adults trying to explain how autistic kids think but you get more insight by giving the kids the opportunity to explain it themselves :)
Thanks for sharing those.
Autistic people including kids can definitely explain what being autistic means better than non autistic people, that is very true.
You are very welcome.