Please Teach Your Children Kindness When Interacting With Kids On The Autism Spectrum

by Calleen Petersen for The Mighty
JackF / Getty

Recently, we took a trip to the park down the street. My son saw some other kids about his age he wanted to play hide-and-seek with. He asked if he could invite them to play. I encouraged him to do that.

These kids told him they would play. They told him to go hide. He joyfully ran to hide. They counted, but it was just so he would hide and leave them alone. Meanwhile, they were laughing at their “ingenuity” and mocking my son.

I tried to explain to my son they weren’t really playing.

He went back and the scenario played out exactly word for word again.

I was heartbroken at the cruelty of these children. Sadly, I called an end to our time at the park and we walked home.

Some people with autism do not always understand social cues or cannot read facial expressions. I see it as curse and a blessing. A curse when my son misses cues. A blessing if it protects him from cruelty.

Please, teach your children to be kind.

The kids at the park didn’t have to say yes to playing with my son. They could have said they were busy, or that they didn’t want to play. I’m not asking that they always say yes to playing with my son. Frequently, he only wants to play one game and that same game over and over. I realize your child may feel too old, too cool, or just plain doesn’t want to play. Teach them to be honest with my son. But kind.

Kindness goes a long way in this world of ours.