Early interventions can make such a huge difference for #autistic kids. Being able to grow up in a family with that understanding, of what autism is and how it affects us, is something I think a lot of adult-diagnosed autistic folks wish they had.
And I like how you mention the importance of seeking out and meeting #autistic adults. The resistance that you see in some parents of “low-functioning” autistic kids is heartbreaking, because I know from personal experience how much of an impact autistic adults can have on kids.
It’s the same reason we need #DiverseBooks, #DiverseKidLit, and better representations of #autism in the media. Kids being able to see someone like themselves is so critical to their identity. #ActuallyAutistic adults can help guide kids, inspire them, and love them for they are.
It’s not that a neurotypical family can’t love or understand their #autistic child. They totally can. But there’s something different that you get from being part of a community. It’s why we seek out others like us. Why LGBT or POC or disabled kids need role models and mentors.
#Autistic kids need #ActuallyAutistic adults in their lives, and I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to be that understanding adult presence in my autistic students’ lives. That feeling of connection is so rare for them. I love seeing them realize how much I relate.
And it also makes me appreciate all the neurotypical staff and family members who work so hard to get so good at understanding their #autistic kids. It’s like learning a foreign language. It’s frustrating and complex, but those who stick it out and get it right are just magical.