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See the Amazing

Explaining Autism to Young Children

The following talking points can help you talk with all children about autism:

  • It’s okay to be curious about people different from you. We are all made differently. No one is the same. Isn’t that neat?
  • (Child’s name)’s brain works differently from yours. Your brain is like the boss of your body. It’s what makes you you! The brain has an important job: It helps you make sense of the world around you.
  • Your brain lets you understand everything you see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. The brain of a person with autism works differently, and that can make it hard to talk, listen, understand, play, and learn in the same way that others do. It can affect all their senses, too, sometimes too much or sometimes too little. Many autistic people are good at remembering videos, drawing, reading, and lots of other things.
  • Everyone with autism is different, the same way all children have differences. Some children do things differently from others.
  • People have other ways besides talking to tell us what they know and want. Children with autism might put your hand on an object for help, repeat what you say, or use sounds or pictures to let you know what they want.
  • When you see your friend hand flapping, rocking, or repeating noises, it might mean she is having a hard time and is trying to calm herself down. Or it may mean she’s excited.

Major support provided by:

  • American Greetings

Generous support provided by:

  • McCormick Foundation
  • Kristen Rohr