Meet Kamp Black
At church a couple of weeks ago I gave a little sharing time to the primary kids (those are kids that are all about Kamp’s age). I decided that I wanted to do it because I noticed them saying things like, “He’s weird.” or “Why does he yell like that?” And since the autism kindergarten class is at the school they all attend - or will attend - I wanted to tell them a little bit about Kamp.
I’m posting it because I thought that maybe it would be helpful to anyone who wants to explain to their kids about kids who are a little different, and how important it is to treat them kindly. So here you go!
My name is Kamp. I’m five-years-old; I have autism. What’s that? Well, autism is a disorder that affects how my brain works. I may be different but I have a lot of great qualities. I am funny; I love Disney movies and riding horses, and of course playing in the dirt. You may not know how to treat me so here are some things I want you to know:
Say, “Hi!” I want to be included just like you. I may be different but I’m a person too. It feels good when people say hi to me, wave, or notice I’m here. I may not wave back but please don’t ignore autistic kids just because they are different.
Talk to me. I may not be able to talk back to you but everyone talks in different ways. Some talk a lot and some don’t talk very much or not at all.
Taking turns. Sometimes I get stuck on what I am doing. I don’t always like to share. I’m still learning; please be patient with me.
Different is okay. How do you spot someone who is autistic? Sometimes you can’t. We usually look like everyone else, but if you spend enough time with me you’ll notice I flap my arms, I yell and jabber, and sometimes it’s really hard for me to sit still.
Five Senses. What are the five senses? Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch. Some of my senses are really sensitive and I can get a bit overwhelmed. I can see the flicker from flourescent lights that most people don’t notice until the light is about to burn out. I can also hear the constant hum, which can be really irritating. I don’t love loud music and too many colors hurt my eyes. I also don’t like very many foods; texture is really important to me. One cool thing about me is I have a really high pain tolerence, so it takes a whole lot to hurt me. I’m pretty tough!
Be a good friend. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I have autism, and I’m ok with who I am. Sometimes I get lonely and wish I knew how to be included, but I don’t. I am a child of our Heavenly Father, too. I can’t help it that I have this body, so please remember that I’m important just like you.
At the end of the presentation, we all sang “I’ll Walk with You“ from the Children’s Song Book.