Apr 8, 2024

Six ways to support young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Carlye recently shared how we can support young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) like them. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Carlye is a sophomore at American University studying psychology and sociology with a minor in special education. They began their work with Eye to Eye as a sophomore at George Washington High School in Denver, where they started their chapter and were a Chapter Leader. During the Covid 19 pandemic, they had the opportunity to expand their work with Eye to Eye by speaking with a Massachusetts school district and joining Eye to Eye for Day of Action in Washington, DC. They are now a YAGC and Ambassador program member with Eye to Eye. Outside of their advocacy work, Carlye’s hobbies are building legos and collecting odd and obscure Hot Wheels to expand their collection. Carlye hopes to one day work for Child Protective Services and then work as a 504 coordinator for high schoolers. Their favorite part of working with Eye to Eye is spreading the message of neurodiversity awareness and building lifelong friendships. 

  1. Encourage others to connect our hyper-fixations to practical applications such as work or school: People with ASD often hyper-fixate on things, whether a task or a subject. Encourage us to use that to our advantage but relate things to work or school tasks. 
  2. Express interest in our passions: We often get really excited about something. Listening and learning about what we love is the best way to build relationships. 
  3. Take pictures of our experiences so people can see the world through our eyes because our perspective is unique. Sometimes, showing is better than telling. If people can understand how our brain works, they will be better able to relate to our experiences, and find more ways to relate to others. 
  4. Ask us how we communicate best: Technology is a great tool for communicating in different ways. Some people might struggle with text and prefer communicating verbally. Invite us to communicate in a way that works best for us. 
  5. Realize there are many definitions of success: Just like no fingerprint is the same, everyone’s brain is different and no one path is better than the other. Realize that my successes might look different from others, but that does not make it any less valuable. 
  6. Celebrate our accomplishments, no matter how small: We feel valued when people tell us they are proud of us, just like everyone else. These celebrations can be small, but expressing it, especially as they relate to our passions or things that we have expressed, makes us happy, we know you’re trying to connect with us. 

 

Written By Carlye Raabe

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