Kid-Friendly Words for Explaining Autism

Here are some of the common highways and construction projects for autistic brains.  While not all autistic brains are alike, you may find some language here that speaks to your child’s experience.

This page was built to help you complete Explaining Neurodiversity to Kids – A Script for Parents.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Common Autistic Highways


  • Deep and passionate interests
  • Very knowledgeable
  • Truthful and trustworthy
  • Thriving with routines and consistency
  • Hyperfocus
  • Feeling feelings very deeply
  • Enjoying movement or other sensory experiences
  • Noticing sounds, sights, textures, tastes, and sensations that others may not
  • Using movement or rhythm to help stay calm in stressful times
  • Finding unique ways of communicating

Common Autistic Construction Projects


  • Finding friends I can connect with
  • Writing down my big ideas
  • Knowing what to do when things change or are unpredictable
  • Navigating the crazy hallways during passing period
  • Knowing if my peers are joking or not
  • Focusing on things I’m not interested in
  • Letting a teacher know when I need a break

Kid-Friendly Ways of Explaining Autism


  • Autism means your brain is built in a way that notices many sights, sounds, smells, and textures that others may not. Sometimes, this can get overwhelming and you may need some tools to filter out the sensations you don’t want.
  • Autism means your brain is full of amazing, creative ideas, though sometimes it can be challenging to write these ideas down on paper.
  • Autism means you have a superpower for focusing on the things you love! It may also be challenging to find others who love those things as much as you do.
  • Autism means your brain enjoys routines and rules, but it may have a hard time when those routines or rules change.
  • Autism means you may communicate differently than your neurotypical peers. Sometimes they might not understand you, and you might not understand them. That’s okay! We all have a lot to learn.
  • Autism means your brain has a high sensitivity to the world around you, but it may be difficult to put that sensory information into the background.
  • Autism means you process information in unique and creative ways, though it may be difficult to understand how non-autistic people are seeing the world.
  • Autism means your brain is wired to focus with an uncommon intensity, though it may be hard to get stuff done that you’re not interested in.

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