1. Autism is a disorder, but it does not define the totality of me. I have autism, but I am a lot more than that. In many ways I am just like a typical child; I have hopes, dreams, things I love and things I hate but I might not be able to articulate them. That doesn’t mean I don’t have them, you just may have to dig deeper and be patient to find them.

2. I am a very literal thinker. Puns, metaphors, and sarcasm are probably lost on me. Don’t tell me to go “back to the drawing board.” Tell me to start over.

3. I am very visually oriented. Show me how to do something instead of just telling me. You will probably need to show me more than once because I require a great deal of repetition to learn a task. I may also struggle with language so giving me a visual is very helpful. Please differentiate between what I won’t do and what I can’t do. I may not respond to your request because it is not concrete enough. Tell me (and show me) exactly what you want and you might be surprised how willing I can be.

4. I need help in social interactions. I may be sitting by myself in the lunchroom or standing by myself on the playground but that does not mean I want to be alone. I find it very hard to initiate contact, but if you make the effort and have patience, I can be a very good friend.

5. I can struggle with sensory perception. Lights that are fine for you may be too bright for me and sounds that are pleasing to you may be overpowering to me. I am not melting down because I am a bad kid, it is just that I am on sensory overload and can’t sort it all out. Please be patient with me.

In short, be patient with me, I want to be liked just like everyone else.

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