Has a Three-Year-Old Son Who Often Throws Tantrums, Alone, and Can't Speak Yet
My best friend has a three-year-old son who often throws tantrums, is alone, and can't speak yet. Having heard the MPATI program on the radio, I understand a little about the main characteristics of Autism. I am concerned that this child is also Autistic.
I would love to tell and help my best friend but I don't know how and am afraid to offend her.
You are a good and sincere friend, believe it is best not to wait. The earlier you help or express your concern, the better because the risk of this child getting worse will be reduced with early treatment. You may be surprised because maybe your friend also feels that concern but hesitates to open up.
Some are simple tips that you can consider:
- Prepare a comfortable atmosphere in a quiet place to meet your best friend and express your concerns.
- Ask if your friends observe, are concerned, or have suspicions about their child's development. Let your friend pour out your heart without you judging.
- After listening to your friend's story, say that it's hard for you to ask personal things, but you want to be able to help if needed. You can also share what you know about the stages of child development (which you have researched beforehand). State the results of your research, names of doctors, and foundations that can be contacted if your friends need it.
- Reach out and say you want to help because you love your best friend. Pump up his enthusiasm so that he will not be alone, as a friend will be ready to support you as much as you can, as long as he allows it.
- Avoid using complex labels or terms, especially if your best friend has not contacted the doctor. Providing a proper diagnosis is the right of the experts.
- Don't compare your best friend's child with other children, or your best friend with other mothers.
- Provide information that can be accessed quickly, for example, via the internet.
- Subtly, emphasize the importance of early treatment so that your best friend's child can have a greater risk of getting better.
- Imagine you are in your best friend's position. Avoid the urge to feel more knowledgeable, better, or experienced, especially if you don't have children with special needs.
Suppose your best friend doesn't feel there is anything to worry about regarding their child's development. In that case, you should respect that by saying, "I'm grateful if there's nothing to worry about in your child. It's not easy to be a mother, and what is certain is that I really love you and sincerely always hope for the best for you. At any time, I will be ready to help you if needed.