By: Ellen Notbohm, Author
Like any complex subject, you start by realizing that it will not one conversation but many, carefully calibrated to the child’s unique situation and the amount of information s/he can process at any one time, given developmental level. This subject is far too deep to answer via Facebook (I have at least five letters about it waiting to be answered on my blog) but my one-sentence suggestion would be to start by talking about one aspect of autism that affects the child, be that sensory, language, social, processing, whatever, explain it and outline what you, teachers and clinicians are doing to help him/here manage it. Self-awareness and self-regulation are the goal; whether or not the word autism comes into it isn’t initially important. (There’s plenty of time for child to learn later about all the misconceptions out there that don’t apply to him/her.) And you are correct, my answer will not apply to everyone–as someone will no doubt tell me immediately.