How to Support Individuals with Autism

support individuals with autism

A vast majority of people have heard about autism and how autistic people understand the world. However, we are not quite sure if they fully understand it. It is a general very complex condition that can affect various aspects of a person’s life.

People who are diagnosed with it, oftentimes have different ways of interacting with other individuals and generally navigating various things in their lives. That’s exactly why it’s of huge importance to get familiar with it as much as possible if you want to provide them with the right support.

There are various things that you can do to show support for these individuals. If you know an autistic person and you would like to support them the right way, then take a look at these useful tips that we put together today.

Learn As Much As You Can About It

As stated in the beginning, autism is complex and if you want to be fully supportive then you first must clarify your facts. So let’s first start with the basics. 

What you should know first? For starters, you should begin with autism stats and insights that are going to help you comprehend how common it is. A lot of people think that it’s a rare condition, however, that’s actually not so true.

In fact, one in every thirty-six kids is diagnosed with it. That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are so many children and adults who are autistic. Another thing that you must understand is all the symptoms it involves.

Of course, there are different types of autism, and not every single one of them has the same symptoms, which is why you should do your homework to see how each type manifests. All sorts have one thing in common and that is that each comes with certain challenges.

Therefore, it’s pivotal to get to know all of them (or at least the most) so you can help your loved one deal with them.

Treat Them Properly

Unfortunately, no matter how devastating this may sound, a lot of children and adults are oftentimes rejected or treated differently (not in a good way) precisely due to this condition. And that’s something that nobody deserves.

Don’t you think that they aren’t aware of some of their self-regulating behavior? On the contrary. Most of them know exactly how others perceive them and this sort of behavior. Sadly, many people see their rocking, hand-flapping and many other things as “unusual” (to say the least) which is very sad.

If you want your friend, family member, or anyone else you know who is autistic to feel comfortable around you, then you shouldn’t treat them differently, and accept them for who they are.

If by any chance, you run into someone who is autistic, make sure not to stare at them because that’s not only impolite but will make them feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable and that’s something that no one should ever experience.

Be Collaborative 

As stated previously, you need to be very supportive to these people, if you want to make sure they feel safe around you. Another thing that you can do is to adapt to various situations and behaviors. 

For starters, if you just recently met somebody who is diagnosed with autism, you should ask them how they want to communicate. There are numerous ways you can do so, depending on the person’s age and type of autism.

Some of them adore utilizing visual cards, while there are those who would rather opt for some other tools. Whatever their preferences are as far as this is concerned, you need to figure out which one is their personal favorite.

The point is to choose something that’s flexible too and to opt for activities that aren’t only useful to them, but engaging and interesting as well. Even if you figure out what they love, don’t forget that there’s always room for improvement and changes.

Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries

Most people want some type of boundaries when they communicate with others. Well, the situation is no different with autistic people. They, just like most of us, want to establish certain boundaries.

And it’s up to you, as their friend (and support in general) to help them set them. This doesn’t refer to physical ones only, but also the verbal ones. Plus, don’t forget that they are not the only ones who need to set them.

You should do that as well. What you need to remember is that what you (or any other person who isn’t autistic) may find convenient and comfortable, autistic people may find it strange and repulsive.

That’s why it’s critical to understand what they perceive as acceptable and what they don’t. Furthermore, there are certain gestures that most of them do not like, such as:

  • Pats on the back
  • Hugs
  • Being physically too close to them

If you can’t figure out right off the bat what they do not like when it comes to this, you can always ask their friends and/or family members to see what they will tell you. By doing so, you’ll be able to correctly establish certain boundaries.

If you notice that there are some issues in terms of setting boundaries (on either or both sides), then it would be advisable to craft a so-called boundary agreement. What makes it so beneficial? 

Namely, frequently, those who are diagnosed with autism, in fact, thrive and generally feel so much better when they are given certain rules, guidelines, and boundaries. That’s why this is such a good idea.

By doing so, you are going to make that person feel much safer, plus you’ll get to understand how these people function on a regular basis in terms of communication, boundaries, general interaction, and many other things.


Autistic people, just like everybody else want to feel supported and appreciated all the time. And that’s precisely what you can accomplish if you implement at least one of the tips that were mentioned here today.

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