How we can get the full picture of autism

Every time I remember that flight a few years ago and recall the rambunctious little boy in the row ahead of me, I think about how quickly we judge people and situations without taking the time to understand.

The little boy was creating a mini-scene on the flight, much to the annoyance of the passenger beside me. When his mom got up, I saw her t-shirt. It read: “My child has Autism. Questions are welcome. Parenting advice is not.” (Read more about that encounter here.)

April is World Autism Month, and the organization Autism Speaks urges all of us to “Get the Full Picture of What #AutismIs.”

You can also take the autism quiz and test what you know with questions such as:

If a person with autism doesn’t make eye contact when speaking with you, it means…

  1. They are ignoring you
  2. They don’t want to talk to you
  3. It might be uncomfortable for them

(Correct answer: C.)

Find out more about autism, including current research, here, and check out these NEA resources for educators.

As professionals who believe in children and are committed to unlocking their potential, we want to make sure all of our students have exactly what they need—especially understanding—to be exactly who they are.

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