Finding out that your kid is on the autism spectrum is extremely hard for some parents to accept. Some people think of autism as a mental disability that ultimately hampers one’s way of life, but in reality, it is very far from the truth. Autism Spectrum Disorder is not something that you can cure or completely eliminate from your child’s personality. Still, there are ways to regulate their behavior and ensure that your child grows up to be a responsible human being despite the spectrum. The best thing you can do to help a child on the spectrum is start making the following changes as soon as you discover they are diagnosed with it. Start the treatment right away and make the following changes in their regular routine.
Maintain a Sound Level of Consistency
The first and foremost thing that you need to understand is that children with ASD have difficulty applying one thing in multiple settings. For instance, they might learn to talk without hunching or sign language at school but may find it hard to use the same thing at home. Similarly, what they learn at therapy might be hard for them to apply at home. Your responsibility as a parent is to stay in touch with their therapist and ensure that what they learn is repeated at home. This way, your kid can develop an understanding and application of skills.
Make a Schedule
As surprising as it sounds, children with ASD thrive under strict schedules and a well-organized routine. You need to understand that their brain functions differently than other kids, and unlike them, a plan actually puts their life at ease. Help them learn the time and then devise a timetable where everything from their daily bathroom routine to physical therapy sessions and lunch to playtime is all mentioned. Moreover, suppose an event is coming up that might disturb their daily routine. In that case, it is highly advisable to prepare them in advance.
Rewards and Praise
Like other kids, children in the spectrum show a solid liking for rewards and appreciation, but in their case, it can go a long way in helping them get stable and responsible adults. Always praise them when they do something independently or show signs of improvement over a particular skill. Being a reward does not mean driving to McDonald’s every time they do something good or spending money to buy a new toy. It can be as little as rewarding them with a piece of cake they have been craving for or extending the playtime for an extra 15 minutes. You must reward them in a way that seems completely random and not a challenge that your kid starts expecting a reward for everything he does. This can lead to self-absorbed behavior and disappointment in the long run when things don’t go their way, or they don’t get rewarded.
A child with no ASD is bound to throw a tantrum when things don’t go their way or feel misunderstood. This is not the case for children with ASD. Obviously, they have communication issues, and sometimes it is hard for them to understand something. Even you might not be able to make them understand what’s going on. Understand why your innocent child is getting frustrated instead of getting annoyed or shutting them off. They are 3 times more sensitive than other children, so it is highly likely that your child might stop discussing their issue with you until it turns into a significant problem. Tantrums or getting frustrated is the only way they think they can convey their lack of understanding, so be kind, vigilant and make sure to find the right method to help them understand.
Check Sensory Activities
As mentioned above, a child with ASD is super sensitive to changes and has a habit of openly showing their like/dislike towards a particular thing. It is your job to figure out which things trigger their senses and cause them to act out a certain way. For instance, a butterfly is a colorful thing for some kids, but for ASD kids, it might be a big bug with no defined colors. Check what makes them uncomfortable, entertained, relaxed, or stressed. Based on that, drive home a safe space for them while creating a protective environment around the house. Additionally, if you find it hard, the therapist will teach them how to deal with an unpleasant situation when not at home.
Thanks to the internet and social media, there are plenty of groups that help you get in touch with families who are going through the same challenges as you. Parents can share information with others about how they are feeling, their most difficult challenges when dealing with their little one, and their progress. You will be surprised to see just how many people are in the same boat as you. Additionally, group meetups and activities can help your child develop a social circle of children just like them who know and understand the difficulties that arise by being under the spectrum. As a matter of fact, more socially active kids have better chances of performing well in school and making a promising future for themselves.
Take Regular Therapy
Therapy for both parents and children is a great way to cope with ASD and handle your kid who is affected by it. Let’s make it clear that not all kids can grow up to be Sheldon Cooper; therefore, you need to take them for regular sessions such as physical and speech therapy for autism along with others prescribed by their therapist. Moreover, you need to check in with your therapist, who will counsel and guide you on becoming mentally prepared and ready to handle your little one with whole new energy.
Seek Adequate Treatment
There are plenty of treatment plans available for people with autism, so finding the right one can be hard. You need to avoid complications through the treatment by understanding that each plan has different strengths and weaknesses. Your job is to find what works best for ASD people by considering the recommendations.
You need to find a doctor who understands the individual needs of your child. Discuss their strengths and weaknesses with the doctor and learn more about their approach towards autism. A good treatment plan is based solely on the interest of your children, is available according to your schedule, and helps your kids engage in a positively reinforced behavior towards betterment. If your kid likes the doctor, they will start getting better and understand more about life.
Autism is a broad range of conditions that can affect the overall personality of your kid. Children with ASD might suffer from repetitive behavior, lack of social awareness, verbal communication issues, and other issues. Most parents find it a bit hard to handle their little ones under the spectrum. However, if you are able to devise a proper plan along with adequate treatment, there is a considerable possibility of improving their overall life. You can engage your kids towards a positive lifestyle, from devising a proper schedule to regular therapy and sheer understanding of their behavior. This helps them grow as independent adults.