Awareness – How are we doing?

AWARENESS – HOW ARE WE DOING?

As a parent of a child with special needs you have probably realized by now that a large percentage of the population do not understand your family’s situation. Even close friends and family may not understand your child’s condition entirely. So, how do you create awareness without feeling like you’re up on a soapbox? Here are some ideas:ribbon

  1. Recommend some web sites they can read.
  2. Buy them a book (One very effective one for autism is “10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew” by Ellen Notbohm) Please let us know if you have any other great book ideas!
  3. Make an offer to answer any questions they may have – no judgement, no pressure!
  4. Show them ways to interact with your child to create a positive experience. Be respectful, patient and kind.

What about when you’re out in public and you get the “stare”? I’ve heard many ideas of things you can do, or not do. Here are some examples. Find one that works for you!

  1. Make small business cards or flyers with information about your child’s condition and pass it to the person. Including a web site may be helpful.
  2. Wear T-shirts, ribbons, hats, jewelry or other awareness items for your child’s condition and hope someone asks about it. Have a quick 30 second “elevator speech” prepared when people ask you questions.
  3. Ask the person politely if they have any questions about autism/cerebral palsy/Down Syndrome etc.
  4. Do nothing! Continue about your day and be happy.
  5. Smile and say hello and wait to see if they approach you.

Whatever you choose, remember to be positive and respectful. Please let us know if you have any other great ideas for creating positive awareness. We’d love to hear about them.

How do YOU create awareness? Please comment below, or email us at: autismadvocacyottawa@gmail.com

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