Friday, December 30, 2011

Telling a Child They Have Autism

From Laura Shumaker's autism blog at

What’s the best way to tell a child they have autism? Is it necessary to tell them at all?
Does Matthew know that he has autism?” my friends used to ask.
When he was very young, I saw no reason to tell him. Each of my three sons was different from the other, and I didn’t want Matthew to feel like he was being singled out because of his autism. But from early on, the words “autistic”, “special” “handicap” and “different” were mentioned casually in his presence by so many. “I’m not special!” Matthew would say, “I’m regular just like my brothers and the kids at my school!” I wondered if there would ever be a day that I could have a meaningful talk with him about his autism diagnosis. Just writing about it brings back that old familiar lump in my throat.

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