Are you parent to a child living with autism? You’re not alone. According to a 2014 report by the Center for Disease Control about 1 in 59 children live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States.
The severity of symptoms varies from child to child and some need more help than others. However, there are several things you can do to help your children with autism thrive.
Read on for 5 excellent suggestions on how to offer support for your autistic child.
5 Easy Ways to Help Your Child Living with Autism
Don’t leave your child’s happiness or success to chance. Follow these 5 easy tips to give your autistic kids their best chance at a fulfilled life.
1. Observe and Understand Your Child
The very first thing you need to do is learn all about your child. Figure out what triggers their disruptive or challenging behaviors as well as their positive ones.
The better you understand your child, the easier it will be to identify when they feel stressed versus frightened, etc. It also allows you to troubleshoot issues as they happen or modify situations to prevent them from happening at all.
2. Create Structure at Home
Like most kids, children living with autism need parents to provide safety and structure while in the home. If they attend a special school or therapy sessions, figure out what techniques those professionals use and incorporate them into your home environment.
You must remain consistent in how you reward good behavior and how you address bad behavior. Be specific regarding what actions you praise or want to correct.
3. Connect Nonverbally
Communicating with your autistic child poses a big challenge, especially when they’re nonverbal.
Remember they pick up on your nonverbal communication methods more so than verbal ones. You can communicate through the tone of your voice, your body language, and your facial expressions.
Pay attention to their unique nonverbal methods for communication as well. You’ll soon find your child makes the same sound or facial expression when they’re tired, hungry, confused, etc.
4. Address Your Child’s Individual Needs
There’s no one size fits all autism treatment plan.
Whatever treatment you choose, you must think of your child as an individual and address their unique strengths and weaknesses.
Your involvement in the process and ability to observe, understand, and accept your child’s quirks will do much more than rigidly following a generalized treatment plan.
5. Get Help and Find Support
Don’t face these challenges alone. There’s a massive parent community of children with autism and tons of autism treatment and support groups for both you and your child.
Seek out programs featuring applied behavioral analysis or ABA therapy. ABA therapy refers to a type of therapy using positive reinforcement to improve the learning, social, and communication skills of children with autism.
More Great Advice for Parents
An ASD diagnosis may seem overwhelming at first. Living with autism poses extra challenges both for you as a parent and for your beloved child. But you don’t need to do it alone.
The same goes for the normal obstacles that most parents face.
Head over to the Easywork.net blog for some awesome articles offering parenting advice on everything from how to raise happy children to when to start swimming lessons for kids. Check it out today!