Hi all. My daughter has a “high-functioning” autism diagnosis. I could use some help trying to talk to my Portuguese relatives about it. I mention the “HF” label because many people don’t want to believe that she is autistic, and might prefer to think that she is just unfriendly or rude. An example: I’m sure it makes her very uncomfortable to have to kiss people when greeting them. I know it’s customary, but I need to let my girl have body autonomy and teach her that it’s okay to not accept unwanted physical contact. So how is autism discussed in Portugal? How can I keep from offending our friends and relatives?
I was interested to read your post. I was a Special Needs Teacher in the UK with a specialism in autism. I do know how hard it is to explain high functioning autism to other people. Most are only aware of autism that comes with severe learning difficulties. With regards to Portugal, I am not sure i can be much help but I am aware of the following organisation https://www.fpda.pt/ (Federação Portuguesa de Autismo). You might find their page under the tab Autismo may prove useful in lifting Portuguese terms to explain the nature of your daughter’s autism. It is possible if you contact them directly, that someone with English can offer you some advice with a Portuguese perspective.
On another note, is her autism supported in school? Are they able to offer you any support in this area?
I do wish you the best. High functioning autistic people have so much to offer.