Parents often worry about how their child can find safe support when they are on their own. It’s important to teach children with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder how to identify their ‘safe’ people and to help them understand the difference between a ‘safe’ person and a ‘tricky’ person.
You might be more used to the concept of ‘stranger danger’, but we now know that abuse is less likely to come from a stranger and more likely to come from someone you or your child has contact with and knows. This is why it’s important to teach children with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder to recognise when they feel uncomfortable or have a have a feeling that makes them want to say ‘no’. You can then work with your child to establish solid rules about interacting with others to keep them safe. Instead of stranger danger, you can support your child to recognise ‘tricky people’ and ‘safe people’.