Effective Tips for Parenting a Child with Autism
Parenting a child suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not easy. It comes with some challenges, and a lot of pampering and care. If you've recently discovered that your child is suffering from ASD, it is important you should plan on what to do here on . You can do a lot of things that can help your child acquire new skills and overcome developmental challenges.
1. Learn about Autism
The first thing you need to do if you have discovered that your child has autism is to learn about autism. Learn about autism symptoms, what to expect, behavioral traits and treatment options. The more equipped you are, the better it will be for you. Moreover, you should also become an expert for your child.
Learn about what makes your child angry or aggressive and what makes your child give a positive response. Learn about what freaks out or stresses your child. Learn about what makes your child calm, comfortable and happy. If you learn about their behavior and triggers , it will be easier for you to handle difficult situations. Another important thing is to accept your child's special quirks and enjoy small feelings of happiness. And most importantly, never give up because treatment of autism is a long-term process.
2. Consistency is Vital
Children suffering from autism will find it difficult to learn new things and adapt to new settings. Therefore, your child may use a different mode of communication in different places. They might be using sign language at the therapist's office or the school but may not feel the need to do so at home. You have to make sure a consistent environment around your child is created in order to reinforce learning. Learn what your kid is doing at school or the therapist's office, and repeat the same things at your home to create a consistent environment. Additionally, sticking to a strict schedule is also essential. Set a schedule for your child's meal, school, therapy, bedtime, etc. and avoid changes until necessary.
3. Reward Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement can be a rare thing to observe in children with autism, especially during the initial phase of the treatment. Make sure to catch your kid doing something good, even if it is the smallest of things, and appreciate it with a positive response. Praise them when they react positively, act appropriately or learn something new. Constantly look for new rewarding ways like giving them a toy, taking them to a park, etc.
4. Non-Verbal Connect is Essential
Connecting with a child with autism can be a challenging task to do. Your child communicates with you even when he or she is not speaking or touching you. Therefore, to connect with your child, you need to pick up non-verbal cues and find non-verbal ways to connect. Paying attention to your child's actions, facial expressions and gestures when they are sad, hungry, happy or disturbed can help you connect better. Moreover, finding out the reason behind their tantrum is also important. Kids with ASD may feel upset if they are being ignored or misunderstood. This situation commonly occurs when you are not picking up non-verbal cues. Throwing tantrums is their way to communicate with you. They show their frustration to get your attention.
5. Have Fun with Them
A child suffering from ASD is also a child with a child's brain and desires. You should make sure that in the course of therapy, you do not forget life because it is as important as the therapy. Figure out when your child is most alert and awake and schedule playtime accordingly. Figure out ways to have fun together and observe what makes your child smile, laugh, happy and get out of his or her shell. A child will enjoy these activities if they are not a part of their education or therapy. If your child is enjoying your company, having fun with you and spending unpressurized time with you, it can have tremendous benefits on your relationship with your child. Playing is a crucial part of children's learning, and it should not feel like work.
6. Pay Attention to Sensory Activities
A lot of children suffering from ASD are hypersensitive to smell, taste, touch, light and sound. Some children suffering from ASD are also "under-sensitive" to sensory stimuli. You should figure out what smells, sounds, movements, tactile sensations and sights trigger your kid's bad behavior and what evokes a positive response. Find out what makes your child uncomfortable, happy, calm and stressed. Therefore, learning about the sensitivity of your child to certain senses can help you handle difficult situations with ease.
7. Personalized Treatment Plan
With so many different options and treatments for autism, it might be a baffling task to choose an ideal treatment for your child. Furthermore, with so many recommendations from friends, families, teachers and doctors, it gets further complicated. To get over this dilemma, you should create your child's personalized treatment plan. Personalized treatment is important because every child suffering from autism is different, and one treatment cannot be effective. Each child suffering from autism has different strengths and weaknesses, and a treatment plan should be made accordingly.
A good treatment plan is built on the interests of the child. It consists of a predictable schedule and teaches tasks as a series of easy steps. It should engage your child's attention in organized activities. A good plan should also involve parents and reinforce positive behavior. While making a treatment plan, you should ask yourself a few questions. These questions include “What are your child's strengths or weaknesses?", "What skills are my child lacking?" "What does my child enjoy?” and “What does my child learn quickly”? This will help you make an accurate and effective treatment plan. Reach us at Buddhi Clinic for integrated solutions of modern sciences and ancient traditions.