10 Tips for Parents New to Autism

10 Tips for Parents New to Autism

Did you just find out your child is autistic?

Here are 10 tips for anyone who is new to understanding autism and autistic people. Please note that these are general guidelines. Every autistic person is different and can have different sensory and/or communication needs.

1. Autistic people are human beings.

2. We are not “lost in our own world.”

3. We may develop differently, and that is okay.

4. Autistic people have empathy (and yes, feel love).

  • Not showing affection in the same way, doesn’t mean autistic people don’t care about their family.

5. Many of us have alexithymia – It can be hard to recognize and label our emotions (even pain).

6. A lot of us have sensory sensitivities which can be painful (and you may not know it yet!)

  • Sensory overload and pain in general, can be a reason that we self-injure.
    • Things to try: Ear defenders, headphones, sunglasses, earplugs, hats, hoodies, tinted glasses.
  • Some of us have hypo-sensitivities.
    • If needing pressure or physical feedback: Punching bag, weighted blanket, blanket cocoon.

7. Hygiene tasks and eating can be hard for sensory-related reasons.

8. Alternative communication is helpful, not harmful, for nonspeaking autistic kids or kids developing speech.

9. “Severe autism” is autistic people who have other co-occurring conditions. It’s not “severe.”

10. Autism is often genetic – It is likely that you, your spouse, or a family member is also autistic.


Facebook group – Autism Inclusivity
Facebook group – That Au-some Book Club

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7 thoughts on “10 Tips for Parents New to Autism

  1. I found out someone who left a confusing reply on a comment I made somewhere is autistic and communicates through numbers and simple math. I’m hoping to learn their meanings!


  2. My grandson is 9, has been having seizures so bad people are noticing, he feels alone and helpless. He can’t play his beloved sports anymore, it’s breaking my heart. I wanted to know of a support or something of other autistic children or people who would be willing to just send him some thing saying he is not alone??? Thank you


  3. One of the questions asked these days when being tested for Autism is are there any family members that are already diagnosed? Are there family members you may think may have been on the spectrum but not diagnosed? There are some still thinking it is as the result of vaccines.


    1. Yep. Some savvy diagnosticians explain the breadth of autistic presentations and ask about relatives, and do happen upon things like relatives who have college degrees but flit between entry-level jobs that don’t particularly interest them. Others have presented autism to parents in terms of deficits and stereotypes, and focused on presentation in toddlers, so when they ask this question and the family doesn’t have any white boys obsessed with trains (or perhaps no white people at all…), the way autism presents in their family gets missed and the family doesn’t think they have anyone else (particularly if they didn’t know many of their relatives as toddlers).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You met one person with autism you met one person with autism. It’s not cookie cutter. Girls present differently. There are people who excel at their job but may have walked to the best of their own drum. Some can excel, but fail or have difficulty with relationships at work .


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