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Friends & Family

Here are a few tips to help a family member or friend who has a child with autism:

What is Autism?
  • Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during early childhood. It results from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children and adults in many countries irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status.
  • Individuals with autism have restrictive or repetitive behaviors or interests. They also have difficulty with social interaction and communication.
  • 1 in 54 Utah children will be diagnosed with autism (compared to the national average of 1 in 68).
  • Most children are diagnosed between the ages of 2-4, which is the most critical time period for developing social, behavioral and educational skills.
  • The earlier a child is diagnosed the more impact we can have on their future social and learning interactions.
Top 5 Tips to Support families of Children with Autism
  1. Recognize that you cannot always tell if a child has autism, or other disabilities, just by looking at them.
  2. Don’t judge others by their child’s behavior. It is important to be understanding and that there could be more going on than appears.
  3. If a family member or friend has a child with autism, offer to help them. Ask, “Is there something I can do to help you?”
  4. Educate yourself about autism and other disabilities, especially “invisible disabilities.”
  5. If you do know a family with a child who has autism, find out what their interests are prior to scheduling an activity. Also, find out if there are certain things that are “triggers” and lead to disruptive behavior.

Our director, Julia Hood, explains how you can support those who have children with autism in the video below.