10 Ways to Help Your Autistic Child Succeed
No matter who you are, being the parent of a child with autism can be one of the most challenging things someone can do, especially if you are inexperienced. However, just because it can be difficult, it doesn’t mean your child can’t succeed.
With resources from the ABA Center and the tips in this post, you can put your child on the path to not only being able to deal with autism but also helping them succeed in spite of it.
A structured environment has been proven to help children with autism stay calm and relaxed and also help them focus and work towards a goal. Not knowing what is around the corner or having a fair warning of what will happen next causes massive levels of anxiety and stress.
Having a schedule and letting your child know what is happening throughout the day allows them to excel in their everyday activities.
Communication can often be a huge struggle when dealing with autism, with many children being non-verbal and making it even more difficult. Therefore, it is essential to be able to communicate without words.
Body language and non-verbal cues ensure there is a constant communication connection, which in turn helps your child be able to communicate thoughts and feelings no matter what.
Have a Personalized Plan
There are multiple parenting plans available for having a child with autism, and while these are helpful, they need to be personalized to your child’s needs. Whether you do it yourself or get help from a professional, don’t assume a plan you find is perfect for your child from the start.
One aspect that some parents are scared of is socializing. While it is true that people with autism can struggle with social interactions, it is still essential that children are introduced to it from an early age.
For example, you can keep it simple with supervised playdates, but avoiding it altogether will only be detrimental and make it harder for your child as they grow up and the children around them become better at it.
Join a Support Group
There is no shame in needing help or joining a group that can offer it. Support groups can help new parents get an insight into what is in store for them, and they can learn the best ways to deal with specific situations. The parents there will also have a lot of personal insight into dealing with autism, which you can combine with professional help.
Support groups are also a brilliant way to deal with your own stresses and anxieties and will stop you from getting overwhelmed.
Keep it Simple
No matter what it may be, whether it is putting shoes on or doing homework, make sure the instructions you give your child are clear and simple. If too much needs to be understood, this is usually a cause of increased stress.
Make yourself clear, and constantly check to see if your child understands; if not, change your approach and wording.
The one thing that you will need a lot of is patience. How they deal with all situations will depend on where your child falls on the spectrum. There will be a lot of time when you will need to step back and let your child figure something out.
On the other hand, there will be times when you will have to help, multiple times in some cases, with the same problem. You mustn’t forget that your child doesn’t know what is happening either, and getting impatient or annoyed will not help either of you.
Parents are wary of so many situations when it comes to their kids, and school is one main issue for parents of autistic children. While school may be tricky to navigate, it is still something your autistic child can do.
Nowadays, many schools will have specialist teachers or classes designed for children who need extra attention. Your child can not only go through the experience of school but also learn in an environment that suits them.
Keep Stress Low
Keep stress to an absolute minimum throughout the day. If your child doesn’t want to do something, don’t force them; if they don’t want to eat something, offer an alternative. The last thing you want to do is raise stress levels to the point that your child can’t remain in control.
Don’t forget that your child doesn’t know why they don’t like something or want to do something; they just know they don’t like it. That is exaggerated in children with autism; therefore, not forcing anything and keeping things calm is critical.
Finally, you must never forget to have fun. Trying to cater to a child with autism requires a lot of structure and work, but it is still vital for both you and them to have fun; they are still children, after all.
It is also essential to let your child have fun when they want to; if they want to have a quiet hour or two to play with LEGO or even video games, let them. Children with autism find it incredibly difficult to express emotions and stress; therefore, they need a way to unwind, and playing and doing what they want is the solution.