AUTiSM AWARENESS : 8 KickAss Tips For Living With & Loving Someone With Autism -xo

I am the mother of an AWESOME 19 year old boy with autism- okay, he's technically a man now, but I'm still a tad in denial about that! 

We have been on quite the journey together, and I have learned so many things by being his mom. He has taught me patience, kindness, and how to appreciate the little things in life.

I would be so honored to one day be able to impart some of that wisdom onto others and perhaps spare them from some of the suffering that I unfortunately allowed myself to experience in the early years.

So, in that spirit, here are my eight best tips for living with & loving someone with autism. I hope that you will find them helpful...

1. Do not talk about them like they're not in the room, which can inadvertently cause shaming, hurt feelings or embarrassment. It can also undermine their self esteem and create the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with them.

2. Recognize that, even though their emotions may not be reaching an outward expression, they absolutely have feelings & are quite sensitive.

3. Help them to identify emotions in others by teaching them what a variety of facial expressions look and feel like.

4. Instead of trying to pull them out of their shell and into the "real world", meet them where they're at and bring an open mind!

5. Encourage them to go with the flow of their passions and to build from there, rather than making what it is they are obsessed with "wrong".

6. Prepare them for transitions by giving them a heads up when the activity or location is about to change, and show them on the calendar what they have to look forward to.

7. Help them to cope with sensory overload by giving them strategies for dealing with bright lights, loud noises, itchy clothing or heavily populated places.

8. Look into the GAPS diet and maybe the Body Ecology diet as well. (Links Below)

KickAss Autism Resources:

"Here's to the kids who are different, 
The kids who don't always get A's 
The kids who have ears twice the size of their peers, 
And noses that go on for days... 
Here's to the kids who are different, 
The kids they call crazy or dumb, 
The kids who don't fit, with the guts and the grit, 
Who dance to a different drum... 
Here's to the kids who are different, 
The kids with the mischievous streak, 
For when they have grown, as history's shown, 
It's their difference that makes them unique." 

(Kids Who Are Different by Digby Wolfe) 

For my fellow Pinterest fans: THiS is a board that I made to pour a little visual energy into My Greatest Goal of creating "A Group Home For Adults Living With Autism In Big Sur With Lots Of Tall Trees, Open Fields, TONS OF LOVE, Experiential Education, A No-Kill Farm, & A Business That The Residents Run Together, Selling Their Wares Online & In Local Shops To Create Their Own Income"...

UPDATE (04-04-14) : Autism Awareness Awesome TAG (video)