Having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is very challenging. There are many things to take into consideration. First of all, it is of great importance to make your child feel that he has all your support, love and appreciation. Second, you need to protect your child from the people surrounding him. At this point, it is important to note that a lot of people may not have any clue regarding how to interact with someone who has autism.
Here are some of the parenting tips that you can follow to help deal with a child who has Autism Spectrum Disorder:
Learn more about the disorder. Conduct research or study to understand autism fully. This kind of mental disorder is familiar to children. However, there are only a few people who know its symptoms and the proper ways to deal with it. Knowing the proper information about autism can help you make better and informed decisions in the future. Remember, “Autism is a result of neurological differences in the structure of the brain that distinguish it from what we call the neurotypical brain. It is not mental illness or a personality disorder.” Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC said.
Practice consistency. A child who is suffering from autism has a lower cognitive function. As a result, he or she may have difficulty in applying the lessons or theories learned at school. This circumstance is the primary reason why you need to establish a pattern that your child can follow.
Encourage good behavior through a reward system. Whenever your child has done something great, make sure to reward him for it. The employment of positive reinforcement can help the child become more responsible in everything he does. The rewards can be simple such as giving chocolates or allowing him to play his toys.
Spend more time with him. Make sure to spend more quality time with your child who is suffering from autism. Quality time is important especially if you have chosen to let the child undergo therapy. Set a schedule for bonding moments such as playtime or camping. Do whatever makes the child happy.
Establish constant communication. A child with autism can still talk about his feelings or emotions. What you need to do is to find out what is running through his mind. The secret to establishing constant communication with him is to ask him a series of questions every single day. These questions must be the same so that he knows what you are referring to.
Study his actions. Many factors can trigger the tantrums of your child. What you need to do is to study when his outbursts usually occur. At the same time, pay attention to what he is saying. Paying close attention is an excellent way to determine the current state of his mind and emotions. Jo White, a therapist once said, “From my perspective, it’s one of the hardest things to deal with because, particularly if they’ve got young children — they’re struggling, they’re really struggling with behaviours.”
Find a therapist. For a fast recovery, it is highly recommended to find the best therapist in your area. Set an appointment with this professional so that your son can talk to someone who can improve his mental condition. The frequency of the therapy sessions depends on the needs of the child involved. As Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT explains, “Psychotherapy can help by offering a safe space for kids, teens and adults on the spectrum to be able to express themselves more readily, to be able to learn more effective coping skills to manage stress, as well as symptoms of other mental health issues that may be unique to you or your child.”
Just be patient in dealing with a child who has autism. The first years will be a complete struggle. But as the years go by, everything may become easier on your part.