While you may know or have heard about autism, most people have very little or no knowledge of what autism is about.
Autism is a common disability, and to help your autistic friends better, you need to develop your knowledge about autism.
There are five possible disorders that a person with autism can develop: Autistic Disorder, Child Disintegrative Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Asperger's Disorder, and Rhett's Disorder.
In some instances, a person you know may not show any physical sign that indicates that the person is autistic.
Depending on where they are on the spectrum, different autistic people exhibit different physical or behavioral abilities to various degrees.
For instance, some autistic persons may be advanced in their conversation skills, while some may be totally non-verbal.
Some autistic persons may need a lot of support in their day-to-day lives, while some can live without help and work independently.
Whether you have autistic friends or not, it is important for you to develop their knowledge about autism to engage meaningfully with autistic people and become better friends with them.
Developing your knowledge about autism can come through learning from books, free resources on the internet, attending programs, and training that offers insights about autism.
You should also share the knowledge you have gathered with others in your school and community to increase their knowledge about autism.
You can also develop your knowledge about autism by immersing yourself in therapy which can be difficult for family, friends, and caregivers. This would help you to understand the specific symptoms and treatment needs of your autistic friends and provide the support needed.
Here are ways you can develop your knowledge about autism to help your autistic friends better.
What better way to develop your knowledge about autism than through reading?
Asides from numerous books available on the subject, there are tons of free resources on the internet that educates about autism.
By arming yourself with all the facts, symptoms, and treatment options available, you are able to support your autistic friends better.
Persons with autism might be impaired in terms of behavioral skills, social skills, and difficulties in adapting to change.
They exhibit behaviors and symptoms of; cerebral palsy, delayed cognitive and language skills, anxiety, impulsive behavior, hyperactivity or inattentive behavior, repetitive or restricted behavior, seizures or epileptic episodes, unusual sleeping and eating habits, and absence of fear, or exhibiting more fear than is expected.
Educating yourself about autism will greatly increase your understanding of the subject, which makes it easy for you to recognize and embrace their difference.
As a result, your autistic friends would be able to be themselves around you and express themselves in an environment that embraces their peculiarities.
Keep an open mind and avail yourself of these resources to identify the symptoms your autistic friend(s) have and how to help them better.
Many autism-centered organizations, voluntary organizations, healthcare services, and education services offer a series of training for healthcare professionals, families, and caregivers of persons with autism.
These trainings are usually open to members of the public for free. Attending these trainings and volunteering yourself for activities are great ways to develop your knowledge about autism.
You can as well take it up a notch by enrolling in courses that provide information about autism and, in particular, how to provide support for people with autism.
These trainings and courses equip you and develop your knowledge about autism.
Awareness programs can help a lot to develop your knowledge about autism.
You can understand better the disability, signs and symptoms, and treatment procedures.
These programs will help to erase any negative perceptions or misunderstandings you have about autism.
You could invite your friends to these awareness programs.
They also provide techniques on how to help your autistic friends better.
Autistic people, their families, friends, autism specialists, teachers, guidance counselors in your school, educational psychologists, health professionals, caregivers, and therapists can be good and verified sources of autism.
When you ask these people questions, they can provide information on how to support your autistic friends.
You can invite a health professional to your school or community or partner with autism-centric organizations to create awareness about autism and guide people on how to be supportive of autistic people.
Personally, you can also pass the information about autism to your friends and peers. By doing this, many misconceptions about autistic people, which inform many negative attitudes toward them, would be erased.
This would provide the needed support for your autistic friends and help them adjust better to society since more people are aware of facts concerning autism.
Autistic people, most times, may have difficulties in developing and maintaining friendships, communicating with peers and adults, or understanding what behaviors are expected in school or on the job.
Depending on the spectrum your autistic friend falls in, they may or may not require therapy.
Therapy is considered to be the ideal and best treatment for young people with autism.
It creates a safe space for autistic to get treated and for you to participate in the activities they enjoy.
This gives you the room to interact with health professionals who would provide accurate professional details about autism and advice on how to manage autism.
By doing this, you develop your knowledge about autism in terms of the best style of communication with your autistic friend, their specific symptoms and needs, and how to relate with them.
You can also implement the things learned in therapy to understand your friends better, strengthen your relationship with them and provide support for them.
Autism affects each person differently, different people have peculiar strengths, challenges, and treatment needs.
You can develop your knowledge about autism by learning all you can from free resources available, attending training that provides detailed information about autism, sharing your knowledge about autism, attending therapy with your autistic friend, and engaging healthcare professionals.
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