How can a person with autism be helped?
We often have the impression or conviction that even an adult with autism necessarily needs our help and support. It is much easier to help children with autism by providing therapy and explaining their condition until they can understand their situation and adapt. Adults with autism emphasize that they don’t need help: they can help themselves perfectly well in everyday matters. It’s not advisable to treat adults like small children who still don’t understand many things. It’s much better to adapt an anthropologist’s approach: try explaining cultural differences rather than explaining how to use everyday objects.
What kind of help will be welcome?
The only good way to help an autistic person is to be a mediator between them and the world of people who aren’t suffering from autism, by translating the differences, but not by giving instructions. Intermediaries are useful when dealing with issues that require a diplomatic and careful approach – people with autism can lose patience quickly, so their meetings with others can become heated with arguments or insults. Sometimes these situations result in a sort of “suspension” for the autistic person.
Become a personal assistant
People with autism often may not fully know what is going on around them, and therefore it is necessary and helpful to remind them of upcoming events. If you want to help, you should also remember that many autistic people may have trouble remembering faces, so always quietly remind them who is who, so that a person with autism can sort out all the facts at their own pace. And what’s most important: remember no one likes to be laughed at.