If your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, you might be wondering what you can do to support them. Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. When it comes to helping your autistic child to thrive, it’s all about finding strategies that work for them personally. Here we’ll consider a few ideas that can be helpful.
To support children with autism, it’s often useful to establish a structure. Align your teaching and behavioral strategies with your child’s school or therapy settings. Doing so will help them to remember what they learn easier as opposed to confusing them. Children with autism often need to stick to routines; the absence of structure can leave them feeling anxious. Your child might benefit from having meals, playtimes, or bedtimes at precisely the same time each day. If you know that there will be a disruption to your routine, it’s best to tell your child beforehand. Doing so will likely minimize their discomfort with the situation.
Lots of positive praise
Lots of positive praise is vital for every child, particularly those with ASD. Ensure that your child knows exactly which behavior they are being praised for. If your child is prone to tantrums, they must always know when they have demonstrated good behavior. Provide them with rewards for positive behavior as you see fit. If your child acts out, try as best as you can to detect what the trigger was. Often, children with autism will have specific tantrum triggers, and once you know what to look for, they can be easier to deal with. Learning all of your child’s strengths and weaknesses will allow you to aid your child’s development.
At times, children with ASD can find it hard to communicate their emotions. You’ll need to learn to pay closer attention to their body language, expressions, or sounds to determine what they need. Picking up non-verbal signs can be challenging at first, yet these become easier in time. If your child cannot answer your questions or is unwilling, ask them anyway and watch carefully for their reactions. Body language alone is often very beneficial in detecting their problems in a particular situation.
Find a support network
It can be a useful step to find a support network of other parents. A community of parents with ASD children will be able to offer each other tips and advice. You may be able to find such a group locally or perhaps online. Helping a child with ASD can be challenging at times, so having a supportive group can also help emotionally. If you feel that you need further support, there are some great Autism Treatment options out there. Such treatment can provide therapy that is personalized to your child and their specific needs. Approaches like applied behavior analysis work to decrease unwanted behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors.
As with any child, put enough time aside to have lots of fun together. When you are trying to support your child sometimes your own needs can go out of the window! With this in mind, don’t forget to make time for your self-care.