Parenting an Autistic Child

If you recently learned that your child may have autism spectrum condition, you definitely worry and wonder what will happen next. Since no parent is ever ready to learn that their child is anything other than happy and healthy, receiving an ASD diagnosis can be extremely distressing. You could be confused by contrasting therapy ideas or unsure of how to help your child the most effectively. Additionally, if you’ve been told that ASD is an incurable, lifelong illness, you might be worried that nothing you do will make a difference.

Although it is true that ASD is not something one simply “grows out of,” there are a number of treatments that can help children learn new skills and get beyond a variety of developmental challenges. Support is available, including free government assistance, in-home behavioural treatment, and school-based programmes, to meet your child’s unique requirements and enable them to learn, develop, and thrive in life.

Stop waiting for a diagnosis.

Starting therapy as soon as feasible is the finest thing you can do as a parent of a child with ASD or related developmental delays. Get help as soon as you think there might be an issue. Don’t wait to act in hopes that your child may catch up or outgrow the problem. It is pointless to wait for an official diagnosis. The earlier children with autism spectrum condition receive treatment, the better their chances of success. Early intervention is the most effective way to hasten a child’s development and reduce autism symptoms over time.

Tips for the parents

Concentrate on the positive.

Just like everyone else, children with autism spectrum disorder typically respond well to positive reinforcement. Therefore, you will both feel good when you commend them for the good behaviour they display. Be descriptive so they know exactly what you found admirable about their conduct. Finding ways to express your gratitude to them, whether it be through additional playtimes or a small gift like a sticker.

Be consistent and follow the same schedule.

Autism sufferers prefer routines. Make sure they receive guidance and engagement frequently so they may use what they learn in therapy. They might use their information in other situations, which would speed up their learning of new abilities and behaviours. To use what their therapists and instructors are teaching at home, try to come to an agreement on a set of communication methods and strategies with them.

Putting the play on the schedule.

If you can discover activities that are fun rather than more educational or therapeutic, your child may open up and form a relationship with you.

Allow some time.

You’ll probably try out a variety of methods, therapies, and strategies as you look for the best course of action for your child. Keep a positive outlook and attempt to avoid being disheartened if they don’t respond favourably to a particular strategy.

Involve your child in daily activities.

If your child displays surprising behaviour, it could seem simpler to keep them away from specific locations. However, you might be able to help them adjust to their surroundings by going with them on normal duties like grocery or post office runs.

Get assistance.

Whether it is given in person or online, support from other families, professionals, and friends can be very helpful. Assemble a group of close friends and family members who are aware of your child’s illness. Your youngster will need help in keeping his or her friendships because doing so could be difficult. Support groups can be a helpful way to connect with other parents going through similar issues, share knowledge, and obtain help. Counseling for individuals, families, or couples might be helpful as well. Consider what could make your life a little easier and ask for help.

Reward positive behaviour.

Try to “catch them doing something good” since positive reinforcement with children with ASD can go a long way. When you compliment them for good behaviour or when they learn a new skill, be very clear about the behaviour you are thanking them for. Think of other ways to praise them for good behaviour, including letting them play with a favourite toy or giving them a sticker.

Make your home a safe place.

Establish a safe space in your home where your child may relax, feel at ease, and feel safe. This necessitates structuring and setting boundaries in a way that your child can understand. Visual cues could be helpful (colour tape marking areas that are off limits, labelling items in the house with pictures). Additionally, if your child exhibits self-harming behaviours or has a history of tantrums, you may wish to safety-proof your home.

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