Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Helpful hints for interactions

You’ve probably seen something like this. All sorts of organizations have them for handing out to law enforcement people or nosy strangers. Their purpose is to explain the incomprehensibly bizarre behaviors of an autistic person, and how to avoid making the interaction worse. They tend to say things like “may avoid eye contact” and “may find loud noises upsetting”. This version is based on an old Autism Society of America card, and is free to anyone who wants to download it. I’ve been carrying one with my own picture on it, as I find it defines my own “peculiarities” more accurately than the commercial designs available. Should work fine without a photo too.


  1. I'm on a committee for training school personnel about autism, and one of the projects the rest of committee wants is a brochure to go to all "support personnel" with "helpful hints" and a quickie crash-course (in bullet form) of autism. I refused to endorse the leaflet unless they made the first line "Autistic children are, first and foremost, human beings, just like you. Treat them with respect." The committee isn't very happy with me. The other parents, however, have given me the green light to state clearly that we, as parents of autistic kids, refuse to endorse anything that doesn't clearly teach that our kids are, first and foremost, human beings.

  2. Brilliant. Thanks. And it's the NSA to boot, ha! I'm using these for sure.


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