How to help

The main way you can help is by realizing I have autism and I'm not just being 'selfish' or 'bratty'

Please invite me to join in-but understand that I can find being in a group stressful. I'm not being unfriendly if I sometimes prefer to be on my own.

Please don't speak too quickly. If you do, I can't always take in everything you say.

Please take time to explain things to me

Try not to get mad if I misunderstand you

I don't always realize if I've said or done something upsetting or a bit silly. So you may have to tell me if I've upset you.

Please remember that I usually take things literally. I might not understand metaphors, jokes or sarcasm.

If possible, let me know in advance if there is a change in plan, so that I can be ready for it.

I have very sensitive hear and sight, so please don't shout or make loud sudden noises unexpectedly. I may want to turn the lights off if there are to bright for me. My senses can be about 10 times more sensitive that yours.

Try to understand that although I want friends, I don't always know how to behave in a friendly way. I need you to be patient and friendly and supportive. I'll try to be the same for you

Choices can be stressful for me, I need it to be usually no more than 3 or it can get overwhelming for me. I need to have choices for example like, what do you want for dinner, I need to have a couple choices or I can't say what I would like. My thoughts and words can get mixed up.

Background noises. It's difficult for me to filter out and ignore background noise. This can make concentrating difficult, and can make me feel stressed, but however when I am working on art I find it easier to concentrate with the music playing. 

Loud sudden noises can make me panic.

Flickering lights can be hard and painful to me as well as bright lights. Reading can also be hard for me because the writing in books and notices seems to move about, so it's really hard to read it properly.

Please give me a timetable so that I can keep track of what's going to happen and what the routine is like for that day. I feel stressed and worried otherwise. I can't usually remember just by being told. I need to see it.

Altering the icons on the visual timetable, or noting the change on the timetable, helps me prepare for and cope with changes.

It helps if i have a 'quite place' to go to when I need a break, because I sometimes get overloaded with stress and the noise and sight in the room or place I'm at.

Deep pressure systems can help me feel calm if I'm feeling stressed or anxious.

Please be aware that the way you speak affects how much I can take of. Also, please understand that I may appear not to be paying attention when i am.

If you speak quickly, I can't usually keep up with what you say. Speaking quite slowly or using sometimes one word and pausing between sentences helps me.

Sometimes if you don't say my name at the beginning of a sentence, I might not realize that you are talking to me-especially if I'm in a group. I'm not deliberately ignoring you if I don't respond. If you say my name at the end of a sentence, I may miss the sentence altogether. "Adam please pass the book' is better for me than "please pass the book, Adam.

Some people with autism may listen better when they are not looking at the person. Sometimes I feel overloaded with the information coming in through my eyes and ears. Then i might need to listen, but not look. I'm not meaning to be rude. At that time, this may be the only way for me to pay attention to what you are saying.

Please explain yourself clearly. For example if you say "take the cup", I might not know what to do. If you want me to take the cup and put it in the sink, please say so. Details for the autistic is what i always say ~!

Like most people with autism I learn best when i can see what you mean.  Rather than just talking, if you write things down or draw pictures to explain things, it helps me to understand and remember.

If I find something difficult or boring, I might get upset or want to give up on it. Being motivated to do thing you don't want to do can be a real problem when you have autism. Social stories stickers and reward systems can help. It can also help me link with some of my special interests- or let me spend some time on my special interest as a reward.