More Than My Label: 7 Things I Wish Your Kids Knew About Autism

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You can't tell that someone has autism by looking at them
No one "looks" autistic. When a person is autistic, it just means their brain works differently.
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April is usually known as Autism Awareness Month, but this year there's a movement to re-brand it Autism Acceptance Month. For me, this resonates a lot more than Autism Awareness Month. I'm already very much aware of autism. Two of my four kids have Asperger Syndrome, and I've been living and breathing autism awareness for quite some time now. So have my husband, our two kids with ASDs, their siblings, our entire extended family, and our friends. Awareness months are important. They remind us to take action. But I'm not sure I need my community to take personal action, as much as I'd like people to just accept my kids they way they are. Acceptance requires a very small shift in thought. Why should you talk to your kids about autism? Because statistically speaking, your child knows at least one kid with autism and interacts with him or her on a daily basis. Because the more we talk to our kids about accepting and understanding differences, the less likely they are to bully other kids. Because when you talk to your kids about being accepting of the "quirky" kids in their class, you're also teaching them to be accepting of other kinds of differences: skin colors, accents, clothing brands, religious beliefs, music preferences. To get you started, here are ten things I wish everyone's kids knew about autism: - By Joslyn Gray

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