12 things you should never, ever say to an autism parent

That's normal for his age.

Autism parents deal with a plethora of issues every day with their children, from refusing to eat certain foods to having a meltdown because a tag from a T-shirt touches their skin. Although autistic behaviors can sometimes mirror what we consider "normal" behaviors in other children, they are usually much more pronounced. The parents of an autistic child are often the only ones who see their child's struggles every day. To an outsider, it can be easy to pass behaviors off as "normal," but to those who live it daily, it's a much different situation. Dan Jones, author of Look Into My Eyes, has spent the past 20 years working with children and adults with autism, and their families. Jones himself has Asperger's, a high-functioning form of autism. "People still say everything I'm describing [about Asperger's] is just normal, but I feel better with a label I can explain things through, where I can describe clusters of things under the label, rather than the one bit someone is focusing on." Here's what to say instead: Can you tell me a little about the things that affect him most every day?

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11th March 2017
Readers Digest