WHEN SHOULD I TELL MY CHILD?
There is no set time for when to tell your child about their autism. It will
depend on many factors such as their level of understanding, ability to
process information and emotional strength.
Some parents tell their child when young so that they gradually become
aware of their difference without it becoming a big issue. Others prefer to
wait until the child is older so they may understand better. Some may leave
it until the child begins to ask questions about themselves.
There is no right or wrong decision. You are the best person to gauge this
although you may find it helpful to discuss it with someone who has
knowledge of autism.
‘I didn’t tell my son till he was 9. We watched a programme together, and then
a week later discussed it. Later again, I told him he was like the kids in the
programme and told him all the positive things about his autism. We now
discuss all aspects of his autism. It’s an on-going process. He is now 11.’
‘She didn’t accept at first and now hopes that the diagnosis will explain
how she is – not just bad.’
HOW CAN I HELP?
- Be confident about the strengths and abilities of your • child and their sense of being.
- Be as positive as possible when talking about autism to your child.
- Give lots of time for them to process the information.
- Give lots of reassurance. Encourage them to ask questions.
- Give the information in ways that suits them best e.g., DVDs, books, websites, etc.
- There are different programmes available to use with children. For more information contact The Pines for advice.