Basic skills to communicate with people with autism:
- Eye contact:
People with autism are weak at and avoid eye contact, you should try your best to attract their attention when communicating with them, but don’t force because maintaining eye contact is a pressure for some autistic people and raise the opportunity to trigger their emotions.
People with autism are sensitive to sound, so when talking to them, the tone should be soft and the words should be concise and clear.
Appropriate attitude towards people with autism:
- Treat them as one of us on equal basis.
- Show care and support.
- Accept them to achieve integration into the community.
- Help them overcome their own deficiencies.
- Encourage them to develop a normalized social life.
- Do not set exceptionally high expectations or pamper them lest they should become frustrated or overly dependent.
- Be patient with them and listen to them.
- Identify and recognize their contribution to society.
Ten things Autistics may want you to know:
- I am a child with ASD but autism is not my only trait.
- My senses are out of synch.
- Please differentiate between what I Can’t (I am unable to) and I Won’t (I choose not to) do.
- I can only understand the surface meaning of language.
- My vocabulary is limited. Please be patient with me.
- Speech may be too difficult for me. I am more visually oriented.
- Please help me develop with things I can do. Don’t focus on those I can’t.
- Please help me establish social interaction.
- Please try to identify what triggers my breakdowns.
- Love me unconditionally.
Last three words: Patience, Patience, Patience.
If you are confronted with the behavior and attitude of an autistic child who is losing his temper:
In the case of autistic children without family members beside:
- Keep calm, watch from the side. Let him calm down without hurting yourself or others. Try to find a safer place so that he can calm down, such as asking him to sit down or stand for a while. If possible, it is best to evacuate the pedestrians and avoid putting pressure on him.
Try to communicate with him and understand his situation. Use simple, clear words and a gentle and caring tone, with facial expressions and gestures (such as nodding, smiling, pat on his shoulders) to comfort and flatten his emotions.
When the child is out of control, try to contact his family or notify the police or ambulance.
If you find an autistic child who is suspected of being lost, you can pay attention to the following:
- Try to communicate with him and understand his situation. Use simple and clear words, affirmative, gentle and caring tone, with facial expressions, gestures and movements (such as nodding, smiling) to comfort and calm his emotions. Tell him that you will help him find his family, and ask him do not go away.
- Try giving him paper and pen to see if he can write his name and address; or let him try to call and contact his family. If he is a child with limited language skills, you should seek assistance from the police.
- Through a simple observation, see if he has a bracelet, necklace, name tag, key ring, collar or inner sleeve of the sleeve that can prove his identity and establish emergency contact. Don’t search him without his consent. If you cannot find any information, you should contact the police as soon as possible. If his mood is unstable or overly alarmed, you can only follow him quietly, pay attention to his whereabouts, and should seek help from other people and notify the police or ambulance as soon as possible.
- If you find that you can’t communicate with him, please don’t give up and leave.
You should seek help from other people and notify the police as soon as possible. Don’t let the lost autistic leave before the police arrives.