Although we are beginning to understand more about autism and we are now better informed of how this affects people’s lives, the spectrum is wide and that means each person with autism requires different needs. We’ve highlighted five ways that you can support a friend, relative or colleague with autism
Maintain a routine:
A regular routine is very important because it can make the day to day running of tasks much easier. As we know, people with autism like the comfort of repetition because it makes the day predictable and minimises change.
Be clear and direct:
Use clear language to ensure that communication is clear, direct and to the point so that words are not misunderstood as some people with autism may take references very literally. Break down sentences or large pieces of information and keep sentences short. Sometimes they can struggle with reading black text on a white background, this is where colours and symbols may help them better understand instructions.
Create a comfortable environment
For most people a shopping centre or the cinema is the fruit of entertainment, however for some people on the spectrum struggle they struggle with loud noises and crowds of people. It’s no wonder that peaceful environments can support their well-being and productivity levels.
People on the spectrum is individual
As we have outlined repeatedly above, everyone on the spectrum is individualistic! For some, a certain level of care and support is provided to ensure they live fulfilling and productive lives whereas others may not need a high level of support to merge into society comfortably. Hence the term spectrum: it is wide, wonderful and full of differences that make each individual unique.
It can be hard for loved ones and close friends of those with autism as the behaviour challenges and lack of emotional expression can be difficult to accept. This is why it is important to understand how the spectrum works and to be patient, it’s as hard for them as it is for you.