How to Show Respect to a Person With Autism


Editor’s Note: The suggestions below come to us from Krista Mason, mother of an autistic child and founder of Benjamin’s Hope.

Remember  The person with autism is first of all a real person.

Treat the person the way you would like to be treated.

  •  Remember that non-verbal people can hear.
  • Remember that we, the parents, are doing our best.
  • Remember that we, the parents, enormously need support and encouragement. The most helpful expression communicates, “You are doing a great job. This is not easy, and we see that. How can we be helpful?”

Considerations when interacting with people with autism

  • Do not speak in a baby voice.
  • Do not speak overly slowly or loudly.
  • Try not to frame everything in a question. If a person is non- verbal or minimally verbal, framing everything in a question can be hard.
  • Talk to the person about things that interest them. If you do not know what interests the person, ask the parents. They know.

Be aware that sometimes people with autism make noises that are unusual. Generally, they can’t help it. It is best to just carry on without drawing attention. Also, people with autism often have “self-stimulatory” behaviors; such as: jumping, flapping, and particular eye movements. They are just part of autism, and it is kind to not make a big deal about them.

It’s ok to ask a friend about his or her disability, but it’s also okay for a friend to not want to talk about it. It should be the person’s choice.

Comments are welcome! To keep this space safe and constructive, all are reviewed prior to publishing. If this post helped you, consider sharing it through social media; you never know who may need these words.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *