A personal letter from one mum to another
Donna Van Vuuren, Director of Amazing Mums Sensory Supplies, shares an open letter on interacting with individuals who have autism.
Ethan, who is almost 13 years old, is the love of my life. It has always been Ethan first, autism second. That is how we parents think of our children.
When people see my son, Ethan, he doesn’t look like he has autism, because autism doesn’t have a look. I cringe when I hear that! Ethan is a young boy who looks and experiences the world so differently to others. This is the autism part but is no means everything about it. Every single child and adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder is completely different. Ethan is one of about 50 children in his special needs school Safe Center for Autism and not a single student is like him. He has a speech delay but fully understands everything he hears and even more so, what he feels. Therefore, it is so important the way people react and talk to him. People talk about him, but not to him. He may not look at you when you talk, but he hears and feels everything, and most of the time he feels it ten times more intensely than you or me.
Kindness goes so far. Be kind, talk to him, include him, and be interested in the things he loves, and he will share his world with you. It’s so important to teach every single young child that there are many people in this world that aren’t the same as us. This doesn’t mean they are any less, they are just different. The way children react to other children who are different is all learnt behaviour from their parents. I can also understand that it can be nerve-wracking to ask questions if you don’t know or understand things about autism. But please know, that most parents are more than happy if you ask questions and take an interest, it shows you care.
So, let’s start with the youngest child and teach them kindness and acceptance for all. This will open a whole advanced world of loving the differences instead of excluding them.
With love, Donna Van Vuuren
Amazing Mums Sensory Supplies offer a wide range of sensory products at a reasonable price in the UAE. You can contact them here.
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