Well, I learned some stuff. Now what?
Teach others. Time, patience, awareness, and acceptance. Spread what you’ve learned to replace the misconceptions.
Teach your kids. Teach them how to identify bullying of all kids. Teach them how to stand up for what’s right, not what’s popular.
If you feel inclined, research and donate to autistic non-profit organizations that can help.
Be there for your friends who are raising special needs kids. They don’t need it fixed, they just want an ear and support. They don’t want judgment. They just want you.
Embrace some of the slogans and quotes that are easy to remember:
Different, not less.
Until all the pieces fit.
Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
If you’re inviting a child to a birthday party that you know has autism, reach out to the parents. Find out what can help that child come to the party and be included. This could be as easy as “Can he come 15 minutes before the start time so the party comes to him instead of vice-versa?”. It could be you setting up a sensory friendly room where he can adjust. This doesn’t need to be major, either. Just a room that’s separate with dimmed lights might be sufficient. Just don’t exclude the child because it might be harder for him to come.
Put yourselves in their shoes. What would YOU want if this was your child? Can you do that for them?