Please treat autistic children with respect

A mother of twin daughters who are deaf and have autism spectrum disorder offers insight based on her own 20 years of experience.

April was Autism Awareness Month and having lived and worked for over 20 years in this field I wanted to pass on some pointers for people who have no experience or education when they come in contact with these special individuals.

Autism is out there and parents of autistic children are doing the best they can just as parents try to do whether dealing with exceptional challenges or not.

As parents we not only face the ongoing challenges of raising these special children but also in educating the public and often the school system so that our children will be treated with respect.

In counseling and advocating for families dealing with autism, I have found one of the most common struggles is the ignorance of others who think they could or would do better or that parents of children with autism must be “doing something wrong” because their kids are different.

For a parent dealing with a child with autism spectrum disorder the ignorance of these behaviours from people in the community only serve to make them more humiliated, exhausted and stressed as they try to deal with a difficult situation while an uninformed person in their community passes judgment on them in the form of “advice”.

If you see a child having a meltdown in a public place, remind yourself that you likely don’t have all the facts and unless you have specific training and first-hand experience with autistic children, you should keep your comments to yourself. You are only making it worse for the parent and the child and you are the only one who comes off looking foolish in the process.

Shannon Kelly-Keough,

Rock Creek

Editor’s note: Shannon Kelly-Keough is the mother of twin daughters who are deaf and have autism spectrum disorder. She has more than 20 years experience in dealing with autism, including many published works, and has advocated for multiple families to help them educate their communities.

 

Just Posted

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Crowd gathers at Phoenix memorial for Remembrance Day

The small group shared remembrances around the campfire.

Letter: City hall flag needs to be replaced

Legion member Sandra Doody said the City Hall flag is embarassing.

Grand Forks daycare now part of universal childcare program

The spaces will now cost a maximum of $200 per month.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read