3 Questions for Caregivers of People on the Autism Spectrum

Dear parents and caregivers of people on the autism spectrum,

I’ve written my share of articles and stories, and even a book as someone on the spectrum myself. Some articles were explaining why I have issues with certain things. Others would describe how I’ve learned to cope and what has helped me to grow. And these stories are important to me. But a good friend of mine helped me realize the other day that all of these writings are one-sided. They are only about what I want to say. And in order to make a difference, there needs to be a conversation — and conversations need to have an exchange of ideas, not just my own.

So I want to hear from you. I want to ask questions. I may not always be able to understand the answers, but I’d like to at least hear what you have to say. Some (but not all) of my questions include:

1. Do you feel like you are being heard? Or do you feel like no one is listening?

2. What can I do that would be most helpful to you?

3. What else do you want to say?

I want to open the door for a conversation. I cannot speak for anyone else. However, I personally want you to feel as though you are allowed to share your thoughts and opinions. Because I know how important that is for me.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Erin Clemens, an adult on the autism spectrum

Image via Peter Brown.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Young girl wearing a fairy costume outside with two other children

Kristina Bant Jenkins Photographs People With Autism for 'THIS is Autism' Series

As the mother of a child on the autism spectrum, Kristina Bant Jenkins wants people to know her son for who he is and not just what condition he has. “Early on in the autism journey, I would talk about my son and autism, and people immediately put that label on him, then identifying him [...]
girl drawing the U.S. flag with chalk

How a Question That Led to My Autism Diagnosis Could Help the Country

Growing up there were two great influences on my life. These influences taught me how to live a life of faith, love and sacrifice.  My father was a military man. He spent more than 20 years serving our country. As a child, I was privileged to travel the world. I am a better man for [...]
a mother and son posing together in three separate photos

The Truth About Parenting a Child on the Autism Spectrum

What does the real life of the parent of a child with autism look like? As with any parent, appreciating the good parts is essential, both for the parent and for the child. I came away from a workshop a while back about raising a child with a disability, and the speaker, Kathie Snow, said something really [...]
Anita Lesko in the operating room.

How I Succeed in a High-Stress Career as an Autistic Person

The shrill sound of bone saws. Bright lights. The harsh smell of bone cement. Many people talking at once. Different tones of beeping from the heart monitor, oxygen sensor, and ventilator. Heavy metal music blasting from a speaker right near me. Sounds of hammering from big orthopedic equipment.  Oh, yes, I forgot to mention, I have a [...]