My sons, like many others on the spectrum, have meltdowns. Oftentimes, these meltdowns occur in public. We get the stares and the comments. I got tired of explaining that my son had Autism and what they were witnessing at the time was a meltdown. I then had to go into further detail on what a meltdown was. That was just as tiring as trying to tend to my children during one. I got the idea for “giveaway cards” while at an Autism Speaks (I know, dun dun dun) walk. There was a booth that had these little cards that you could hand out to strangers in public when your child was having rough time. I loved those little cards. They explained what Autism was, what a meltdown was, etc. I soon ran out of those cards, and I would make my own. I haven’t made any recently, but I need to get back to making them. When visiting a special needs symposium recently, there was a booth there hosted by Heart of Texas Autism Network and they have these awesome little informative giveaway cards. They detail what a person with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) may or may not do, tips for Emergency Responders, as well as tips for interacting with a person with ASD. These little cards are super great and while I cannot send these little nuggets of awesome out to everyone that has asked me so far, I can provide the information that was detailed on these awesome cards, and you can type up your own pretty little ones, print ’em and hand ’em out. These are front and back cards.
A Person with ASD (front)
May not respond to questions or statements.
May be nonverbal, or use language differently (speaking in a monotone, repeating phrases).
May make limited eye contact.
May engage in repetitive movements or behaviors.
May be very sensitive to lights, sounds, tastes, or touch.
May have difficulty with unplanned changes in routine.
Emergency Responders: The person may not be aware of danger or understand the consequences of his/her actions.
Tips on interacting with a person with ASD (Back)
Speak clearly and directly, using a calm voice.
Repeat or rephrase questions if necessary.
Allow extra time for responses.
Make no sudden movements.
Explain before taking any action.
Do not attempt to physically block behavior such as rocking or hand flapping.
Remember: Each person is unique and may react differently.