My child has autism. Adults on here with autism, what do you wish your parents knew about growing up and what was something they did that really helped?

You aren't going to find too many adults that were actually diagnosed and helped at a young age, it wasn't exactly a thing. I started to put the pieces together for myself when I was 22 when I realized my son was on the spectrum. It was an astoundingly helpful revelation to give these behaviors a rhyme and reason, helping me better myself to this day (I'm 33 now).

Because of my experience, I've been honest with my son about his autism since the beginning. We work with unpleasant feelings/behaviors and highlight the good. I never recommend hiding it from children but I also never allow it to be an excuse.

I think one of the most helpful things I can tell you, and this really goes for anyone, is that anger is always a symptom of something deeper. The brain pathways that are normally neat and freeflowing for most people can feel like a ball of tangled yarn for us, and it's incredibly frustrating. When they are young you will have to dig to find the cause, and as they grow, teaching them to dig for themselves will be one of the most beneficial skills they obtain. We face quite a bit of extra frustration, whether it be too much noise, word recall problems, social anxiety/not understanding a social situation, the way our clothes feel ... the list goes on. My son was an insanely angry little child, but he's 14 now and has grown to be a pretty well rounded young adult. I attribute that to him willing to face his problems and work on himself. We did it completely unmedicated, despite the intense pushback from healthcare and the education system (that's a whole other story). I would have to say the same about myself, but it was much more difficult to do on my own. You're already doing better then many just by being here asking a question like this. Choose empathy and understanding my fellow autism parent and you will do great things.

/r/Advice Thread