1. Inform yourself on autism.
2. Be sensitive to both the parent and child and the fluctuations in moods.
3. Realize that your friend may not be able to take her child to events that atypical children attend.
4. Be understanding with your friend, she may not always be able to answer the phone or make plans with you.
5. Listen, sometimes your friend just needs someone to listen, don't offer advice – just listen.
6. Offer to watch your friend's child for an hour or two so that she can have a much needed break. This could be during the day so she can go shopping or get a mani-pedi, or at night so that she and her husband can have a date night.
7. Attend a support group, school meeting, or doctor appointment with her.
8. Bring over dinner, call her in advance so she'll know you will be providing it.
9. Pray for her and her family.
10. Send your friend an encouraging note, card, text or email.
11. Find out what the autistic child's favorite thing to do is and invite them to experience it.
12. Offer to help your friend clean her house, do her laundry, or walk her dog.
13. If your friend has atypical children also, offer to take them to the park or a movie.
14. Learn what is the most calming thing the autistic child likes to do and offer to learn how to do it.
15. Think before you speak. Never say “Get over it.”, use the word retarded, or any other insensitive or offhand comment that will affect your relationship with your friend.
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