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Parenting a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Children on the autism spectrum disorder need a range of therapies and medical care.
But along with this, parents of such children can also do a few things that can make huge differences in helping their little ones. Below are a few tips that will prove helpful in parenting children with autism;
Getting started on the right path
The first thing you need to do is to start helping them from as early as possible. You’ll have to accept them for who they are and learn more about their condition so you can structure out a personalized way to help them learn and cope better.
Understanding your children
Some children with ASD may also be hypersensitive to light, sound, noise, and smell, among other things. Some others may also be under-sensitive to sensory stimuli. Parents have to pay close attention to their children, study them very well, and understand what triggers their positive and disruptive responses and behaviors.
Try to find out what they find stressful, uncomfortable, calming, etc. a better understanding of these will help you understand what may affect them as well as how to combat these problems whenever they surface. This will help parents help their kids have more successful experiences while reducing their difficult situations.
Providing safety and structure
The first step of learning about autism, as well as your child’s distinct skills and challenges, will prove very helpful going forward. For learning, you’ll have to design a schedule that you’ll have to follow religiously. Children with ASD tend to do better when operating within a structured or routine setting. They need consistency in many areas, from their meal times to playtime, bedtime, etc. They feel safer and tend to cope better in these circumstances.
Creating connection and communication
Knowing how to communicate with your autistic child may prove very challenging at the onset, but if you take the time to study them, you’ll find it easy to connect and communicate with them better, over time.
Your autistic child might not speak to you, but they’re communicating their thoughts. You may have to devise non-verbal ways to communicate with your child beyond talking or touching them.
You may have to find clues from their facial expressions, sounds, or gestures they make to express different feelings from anger to hunger, tiredness, happiness, or when they need something. Over time, you may be able to communicate with them by just looking at them. They may also be able to understand what you mean by your body language or the tone of your voice.
Highlighting the positives
There will be challenges, lots of them. But rather than dwell on the negatives, it helps more to focus on the positives. Positive reinforcement also works for children on the autism spectrum disorder, much like it does for most people.
When they’re rewarded for what they’ve done well, they’ll feel good.
You’ll, however, need to be specific with what you’re rewarding so they can know the behavior you like. You can reward them with anything from a little more playtime to a few other things they like. However, it’s still essential to love them unconditionally, as parents would do for any child, autistic or not.
Creating a personalized treatment plan
Every child is different, so what works for one may not work or even cause problems for another. That’s why every child with ASD needs a personalized treatment plan that has their interests at the core.
Above everything, such treatment plans should follow a predictable routine, teach tasks as a series of small steps, and actively engage the parents who would be very influential to successful outcomes.
ABA Group Practice Plus
ABA Group Practice Plus helps children with ASD, ADHD, behavioral, motor, attentional, speech/language, and/or sensory integration difficulties. We engage a series of proven and reliable clinical techniques that incorporate both the children and their families.If you’re keen on knowing how we can help, click here to learn more.