How to Explain Autism Spectrum Disorder to Children – Part 1

In this two part series, I have taken the well-known fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and rewritten it with the character of Goldilocks as having Autism Spectrum Disorder. I wrote her character to demonstrate some of the most common characteristics a person with ASD might exhibit.

While every person with ASD has varying levels of severity and presentation, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) to receive a diagnosis of ASD a person must meet the following criteria:

  • Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, activities
  • Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period
  • Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning
  • These deficits are not better explained by an intellectual disability or global developmental delay although these can be co-morbid conditions

For a more detailed description of each of these areas visit the CDC’s description of the DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic criteria.

These characteristics can be difficult to explain to young children who are either classmates, relatives or acquaintances of someone with ASD.

To use the story, first listen to the introduction in Part 1 until you are told to Pause. Then switch over and listen to the story read aloud (Part 2). You will be able to download a copy of the story with notes and without.

There is also a free download of guide you can use after reading or listening to the story with children to further help explain ASD to them and also give them an opportunity to learn how to interact with and help someone with ASD.

How to Explain Autism Spectrum Disorder to Children Part 2

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Amy Nielsen lives in Orlando, Florida. She is the proud mother of four children ranging in age from 5-33! She and her husband, Brent enjoy sports and traveling. Amy is a former teacher with nearly 20 years of experience, a freelance writer, and a special needs advocate. Her mission is to help educate and empower families of children with disabilities to focus on their child's interests and strengths.

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