Depends on the situation and age of the other kids. If they are under 5, I just say 'he is little/younger than you, he doesn't understand' and they seem okay with that answer. If they are older than that, I say 'he has autism, which means he gets scared easily/has a hard time playing with other kids/ just likes to be alone, etc'. Most kids won't ask for any further explanation...and usually their feelings aren't the ones hurt, just yours as mom. :( It will get better though, and and on a positive note, your son's feelings probably aren't hurt by this. :) Both of my sons are on the spectrum, and it is sometimes embarrassing when they act strangely in front of other kids/parents. I usually just act like its no big deal, most kids really don't care that much. I think other kids' parents act more put-out about it than the kids. Use it as an opportunity to spread awareness! My son has autism and this is how he acts- deal with it!!
at 1:16 AM on Apr. 6, 2009