Seven Tips for Helping a Child with Autism
I’ll be honest to say that taking care of children with autism cannot be taken lightly. I’ve been there. I have volunteered every weekend at our Sunday school as a teacher for these precious children.
The time I spent with the kids were never dull. It was full of life and compassion. Some instances were difficult to control, but I was not alone. I admit I need all the help I can get especially from autism doctors.
If you intend to learn how to interact with these children, then try these tips that I will share with you.
1. Never change the routine
A child with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) finds it difficult to adjust to change. So not to disrupt coordination, you must ensure that the child sticks to the daily routine and schedules that she is well accustomed to. This includes leaving the house and playing favorite toys.
The obsession with a hobby, toys, and anything that interests a child with autism is one way to relieve stress and find comfort. This focus may last for a long time before they shift to another. Forcing will trigger their stress and anxiety.
Their inability to express themselves adequately makes it hard for them to understand the sudden alteration and may result in confusion and unfavorable behavior. If it can’t be helped, I suggest making a plan on how to make the adjustment. I recommend doing it gradually with the help of people who understand the situation.
2. Reward System is a Good Idea
Reward system is a positive approach to recognize a child’s good behavior and achievements. This proves to be an effective method to encourage motivation rather than giving punishments. For children with autism, peer modeling plays a huge role in developing their interest to follow.
This technique works great in teaching them the proper social skills.
3. Keep the area safe
Create a nook at home dedicated for your child with autism. Design the room based on your child’s interests to make it calming, secure and safe. Organize the place according to her understanding and never change the arrangement. To enhance coordination, putting special markers on important items may be necessary to maintain order.
Remember to keep the area safety proof. I suggest placing baby gates for toddlers. Children with ASD can throw tantrums when triggered.
4. Educate Friends and Family
You may find it hard to relate to children with autism when you hardly know about the condition. Ignorance can lead to disaster. It is best to learn all about autism to be able to cope up with it the right way. Learning about autism is helping you understand the child.
Once the family is familiar with ASD, communicating with the child will not be that demanding at all. I encourage the whole family to be experts regarding this matter. Spending time with the child together is excellent therapy and bringing her outdoors have special benefits.
5. Create a support system
Taking care of a child with ASD is challenging. You need much patience, time, effort, understanding, focus, and creativity. With all of this, make sure to establish a support system. Support system would mean you have people around you that are willing to lend a helping hand.
Being a mom with a child with special needs, taking care of yourself must also be a priority. Make sure that somebody is always around to replace you while you recharge.
6. Focus on non-verbal communication
Since children with autism can’t express themselves verbally, they often are misunderstood. Therefore, try to read their non-verbal communication. They try to talk to you with gestures, facial expressions, and reactions.
Pay attention to what they like to express to you and learn to pick up and analyze what is behind the actions. In the same way, they understand you by the tone of your voice and the way you touch them.
7. Always make time for fun
Going through the therapy need not be boring or stressful. Make sure to have fun along with it. In fact, the children learn faster when you teach them through games. They will not feel the pressure when you are having fun.
Find ways to create a routine that will catch the child’s interest. Simplifying your language for quicker comprehension would be helpful.
Don’t let yourself be caught off-guard. The more you learn about your child’s condition, the better you can cope up with it. Make sure to let the child feel that you are with her, no matter what. I encourage you to become:
There are plenty of autism treatments given. Moms know best when it comes to their children. Choose the right one. Put together a treatment plan and remember that it’s long-term. Patience, love, and understanding are what your child needs the most.
For moms out there with the same fight, I salute you. I hope that in return, you will also share helpful tips to help a child with autism. Let us spread the word!