Autism: 10 Tips for Everyone

by in Autism, Guest Posts, Kitchen Sink March 19, 2009

PhotobucketBy Tara McClintick

You probably already know that autism is growing. A 6,000% increase, 1 in 150 children, 1 in 94 boys – the statistics are steadily rising.

This is a journey we are all on, even though many are not aware. There will be numerous benefits to more people consciously getting on board.

The journey is amazing. If you do not live it, you may not understand the benefits. Though it is not always easy, there are ways we all can pitch in and begin the shift towards reaping the blessings that flow from being touched by the life of someone with autism.

Do you know ways you can help? Live daily within the crux of the most extreme aspects of this condition and ideas begin to come clear. Here a few powerful suggestions that may surprise you…

1. Educate Yourself. Not via the news, magazines, TV specials, commercials, the doctors, the medical society or even the big autism organizations. Listen to the parents. Join groups on the internet. Read books about healing. Read books written by individuals with autism.

Most of the mainstream information and even “scientific studies” are biased and paid for to protect some financial interest. Jenny McCarthy said it best, “Our kids are our science!” Break out of the mob mentality, it’s getting us nowhere. Concerned about immunizations? There’s good reason. No matter how “safe” and “necessary” we are told they are, bottom line is parents would not have to sign away our children’s lives releasing responsibility for risks beforehand if that were true.

Learn from those experiencing and living with autism daily. They are the ones most highly motivated to finding answers. They are the ones who are no longer afraid of what this journey is revealing to the human race. They see ignorance and indifference as much more frightening.

2. De-Tox our Environment. Become more aware of the substances we saturate our air, land, skin, clothing, and other surrounding areas with daily. Start changing one thing at a time if you have to. How you clean your house. How you wash your clothes. How you take care of your yard.

How you eat. How you take care of yourself. Do you know what those chemicals and ingredients are? Me neither. Why do we trust the companies and/or government to make sure they are safe? Support the independent organizations that make factories clean up their act. Simplify by going back to the basics.

3. Adjust How You Think About Food. Real food is made by God, not made to last 20 years on a shelf and ready to eat in 2 micro-waved minutes. The more chemical and artificial ingredients it has, the less it can be called “food”. Yes, you can eat it without it killing you instantly.

Yes they will TELL you it’s “healthy.” We can’t blame food companies for wanting our business and trying to make life more convenient and easy for us. The companies are catering to our wants, so we have to start opening our eyes to what we are doing to ourselves by staying in the dark for the sake of cheap, quick, and easy. Real food taste way better and is ultimately more satisfying.

First change by acknowledging your addiction to the cleverly concocted taste combinations that are always conveniently accessible. It taste good, makes me feel good at the moment, quick and easy, but at what cost? Alcoholics and drug addicts have to make the same choice.

4. Take Responsibility for Your Health. Your doctor is not God. Your doctor can not possibly be responsible for the daily choices you make either. Your doctor is a human just like you. Your doctor went to school to learn how to prescribe “band-aides” in the form of drugs, for symptoms you are experiencing. YOU are responsible for learning about becoming healthier.

The human body, brain, and soul are miraculous, awe-inspiring creations! God has provided us with guidelines, resources, and free will.

Take responsibility for your own will, beliefs, and decisions you make about how to live. Businesses such as health care and the food industry are services for our needs. When we allow them to convince us as to what our needs are –that is called marketing. It is up to us to know the difference. Get out of the trap, and reverse who’s in charge. You know you best. Learn about yourself and take charge of your own life.

5. Vote Daily with Your $$$. Your daily choices are determining the path of the planet. We are like hamsters in a maze when our decisions are determined by the TV commercials, magazine ads, and the negative news.

The stores alone are largely designed to get you to buy, and the big companies know how to use this system in strategic ways. Exercise your true freedom to choose. Liberty is America’s mighty foundation, and very few people realize the power in this step alone. Buy real food, safe cleaning products (baking soda, vinegar, etc.), and spend your hard earned dollars to support these movements (see #1,2, 3, &4).

6. Ask How You Can Help. Be open to learning. If you know a family or person living with autism, don’t assume you know what’s best for them, what they should do, or how you can help.

Offer, but ASK. Ask what adjustments would help to make family events go smoother. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help out once a week. If the person says “no” please do not be hurt or offended. There are complications involved that they can’t explain, because you can only understand by living it.

Emotions, logistical factors, desires to prevent disasters, etc. are all new challenges that can arise around involving another person. You can help best if you can fill your own cup and serve from the overflow. A family surviving the daily challenges of autism can not handle the challenges of another needy person. Wanting to help and needing to help are different.

7. Volunteer Your Time. Once you’re in the mindset of #6, you can open an on-going offer of whatever help you’d feel comfortable providing. A few of the ways you could help may include researching topics on the internet, driving a child to/from therapy, running errands, caring for the child or siblings, yard work, cleaning, etc.

Be open to suggestions and feedback. Your time and compassion can be a gift worth more than any amount of gold.

8. Train Yourself. Learn how to spend time with a child perceiving the world differently. Come from an attitude of wonder, compassion, mutual respect and peace. Your comfort level is your responsibility, not the child’s.

This is an area of huge need, and there are good programs out there; but they are few and far between. Seek training that focuses on learning about the child and developing trust. Relational techniques such as son-rise and gentle teaching can show all parties involved how to learn and grow together.

9. Donate Directly to Families or Organizations that Support Families.
Most of the treatments and therapies are not covered by insurance. Support fund raising efforts by families, or donate to programs that offer assistance to families directly. Again, your $$$ are votes, support what you want to see more of in terms of helping families.

Many times financial assistance is not available until the child is 18 when the parents are not solely responsible anymore. If more funds were available to support school-aged children, we may have more independent children by 18.

Yes, overcoming any challenge is possible. See #1, listen to the parents that have experienced it. Every story is different, but most involved commitment, hope, and support from others. Your support can make a huge difference. The expense of assisting a child may be high. It is but a fraction of the cost of not making an effort to reach out.

Even the children that never fully “recover” can make huge strides and teach those who reach out some of the greatest lessons in life. Every individual created by God offers gifts to this world that are up to us to receive.

10. Advocate for Compassion. Our ignorance does not excuse us from the mistreating or oppressing any group of people.

Develop a voice for children who can not stand up for themselves. At present, most programs are trying to help children to conform to the “real world”. Sometimes they are treated worse than criminals through aversive behavioral shaping methods. These kids are our “real world” now, and those of us who have a voice and can control our bodies have many choices on how we will respond.

Start taking some of these active steps towards reversing autism. The kids can learn, but we have just as much if not more to learn from them. One thing you will learn is that these kids are not so different after all. They are normal kids trying to take care of themselves.

What if it were you? What if someone were telling you that you had to be different or you were going to punished. We would not punish a child who’s legs were paralyzed for not being able to walk. These individuals are doing the best they can. They often have sensory and perception differences that we do not experience.

Their behaviors are not misbehaviors. Let’s come together to support them with open minds and hearts so that we can learn what they are here to teach us. The future we create is up to us.

“I suspect future generations will see our time in history as the turning point when the conditions of the planet forced us to discover how the universe really works and accept our interactive role in it. Rather than following the first three centuries of scientific imagery that has portrayed us as powerless victims in life, the new science suggest we are just the opposite.” ~Gregg Braden The Spontaneous Healing of Belief

Please leave your professional or personal experience tips, stories, or comments for all touched by autism to benefit.


Author: Tara McClintick is an Early Childhood/Special Education teacher as well as a Son-Rise mom. A great deal of Tara’s 20+ years experience has been working one on one with her youngest son, Jake, who was diagnosed with severe autism shortly after his first birthday.

Jake is now 13 and together they continue the journey towards learning and recovery through nutritional and natural methods. Tara also creates fun, unique picture books for kids using real-life scenes and images

  1. Wow! This is a great list for those who are just starting on their journey with autism or those who are trying to better understand a loved on afflicted with autism. Thanks Tara for a well written piece!

  2. Thanks Doc Nicole for inviting this autism expert. I passed this article along to a friend and hope it will help them with their son. I also found it interesting to read from a supportive standpoint. We are never really sure what the right thing is to do when we invite them over, what food to serve, and how we can make it the best experience for their family without drawing un-do attention.

  3. Fantastic article! Thank you Tara for speaking the words that so many of us want to say. I am going to share this information with others. We parents are the experts on our children and hopefully the world will start to listen to us about our precious kids and about how toxic our environment really is. Great job!

  4. Thank you as well Tara for a great article, I am glad that Tim Brownson got us in touch, I agree that you are THE experts and that the doctors role should be to help facilitate the healing process as safely and effectively as possible. Thank you for this wonderful contribution that will certainly be a value to many people touched by the diagnosis of autism or autistic spectrum disorder.

  5. Wonderful job Tara!!!! As a mother of two children with Autism I find this to be a wonderful way to reach out to the community. You have shown a way to bridge the gap between mis-understanding, and the truth of how our children are not only the lights in our life, but a beacon to lead the way for better health and well-being for all of us.
    Thanks for this!

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