So your kid’s autistic: A handy guide to not being a dick from a mom of an autistic teen daughter
1. Stop calling yourself an Autism Mom and making it all about you.
2. Meltdowns suck, but they’re harder on her than you. Work with her to figure out her triggers and don’t dismiss them.
3. Some types of behavioral therapy which focus on emotional regulation can be beneficial but anything that rigidly demands forced eye contact, forbids stimming, or aims to make her act “less autistic” is abusive.
4. Autism Speaks is garbage.
5. Vaccines don’t cause autism.
6. Focusing on causes and cures is both ableist and pointless.
7. Listen to and respect your kid as a valid human being.
8. Make whatever accommodations she needs to function optimally without making a big deal about it.
9. Be prepared to fight if school is unwilling to make accommodations.
10. Know your kid’s educational rights as a disabled person and make damn sure her school honors them
11. Don’t just rely on teachers and therapists to understand autism. Talk to actually autistic adults to gain a better sense of what to expect for your child’s future. Don’t know any? Follow blogs with the tag #actually autistic. And encourage your kid to do the same, especially as she gets older.
12. Your kid is capable of a lot more than you may think and she’s growing up. Stop infantilizing her and let her make mistakes.
Any and all constructive feedback from the #actuallyautistic community is welcome. I’m trying to continue to grow as a supportive parent.