Sunday, November 30, 2008

Don’t talk down to him, please!

Don’t talk down to a person with special needs. Please. It’s not necessary and it’s demeaning to the boy and to his parents. And it makes you look bad, too. Okay!

So don’t do it. Talk to him at his age level, no matter what you think. Don’t talk slower than you normally would; don’t talk about him like he’s not even in the room and can’t understand you anyway, because he can and he does.

It may take some training and education on your part to not do it, to not talk to him like he’s less, because he’s not, he’s so much more.

Just because you hear words like autism, or special needs, or mental retardation doesn’t mean that he doesn’t understand you and it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a thought of his own… because he does. And he knows your game.

So don’t talk down to him, don’t overlook him, don’t treat him differently, don’t assume that he can’t do something, because he can; don’t assume because he’s quiet that he’s not thinking, because he is. So don’t do it; know better because I’m telling you to. Okay!

Just help him if he needs help or asks for it, but nothing more and nothing less; treat him like the 14-year-old boy that he is.



Christina Shaver said...

Can I add to this? If the kid isn't interested in talking to you, please don't take it personally or try to get him to talk to you. It's not going to work, and it's only going to make everybody frustrated.

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

Amen! Well said, Holly. People don't seem to realize that ASD kids have feelings too!

autismfamily said...

These are great tips. I hope you feel better getting that typed out. Maybe some copies are in order.

Nice job.