Autism is a disorder many of us are familiar with, either due to personal experience or through commentary we’ve heard from others. Managing symptoms and behaviours of autism can be challenging enough as an adult, but if you’re a child, it becomes an even more taxing process. This is why autism parents can struggle to cater to their childs’ needs.
Fortunately, you’re not alone in these struggles, which is why many studies have been conducted to see how we can help guide our children throughout their life, particularly those early stages. If you’re finding it hard to improve your childs’ (and your own) welfare, there’s some techniques you can try to help ease any family tensions that may be occurring. And if you’re questioning whether your child has autism or not, there’s several signs to look out for.
Structure and a routine is something that you already implement on a daily basis, or that you fast need to introduce. The reason being is because of the comfort and security a sense of structure brings to autism sufferers — disorder and unpredictable situations can be extremely triggering, while routines give a familiar and recognisable environment for your child. Of course, not every element of life can be predicted, which is why you need to learn how to provide this structure when a curveball is thrown.
One of the best ways to do this is by utilising the first/then system, a technique many parents find useful. For example, “First we’ll complete homework, then we can go outside to play”; it’s not always going to be received well, however, if you continue to implement this structure, your child will soon become used to the routine of it.
Everyone knows it’s difficult to remain calm when faced with a stressful situation, so saying “remain calm” may not feel like the most helpful pieces of advice. Nonetheless, as challenging as it can be to keep our stress levels in check, it’s important to ensure an episode is handled in the best way. After all, if you address an angry outburst with your own, you won’t be able to come to a calm resolution. What is more, it’ll make the experience even more stressful for your child.
Before you try to exude this calmness, remember to be kind to yourself — you’re going to fail every now and again. That’s okay. Once you have that mantra in your head, it becomes a lot easier to reduce your stress and anxiety; by knowing you’re doing your best, you take some of the pressure off. As for how to remain calm, one of the best ways is to remind yourself that children think differently to adults, and so modifying your behaviour so that they can better understand is part and parcel of helping them develop and learn.
Even with the best will in the world, there’s going to be times where you need additional help, help that comes from a professional source. By seeking the guidance of behaviour therapies, like Novi ABA Therapy, you can ease the pressure you’ve undoubtedly put on yourself to deal with this alone. Although seeking outside help can be daunting, it’s sometimes the only way to truly understand what your child needs from you and other caregivers. After all, what works for one austic child might not for the other, and so by taking the time to explore their behaviours in a specialist environment, you can learn a lot more about them and their individual symptoms.
In a similar fashion to routine, rewarding positive behaviour is another means of helping to improve your child’s life and understanding of the world. The goal here isn’t to focus on telling them not to do something, but rather praising them when they do what you want them to, e.g. you don’t scold them for not tidying their toys away, but instead reward them when they do. A lot of the time your verbal praise is enough. However, for children that need greater incentives, a small token of appreciation, such as a chocolate biscuit, can help.
If you’re at your wits end and feeling lost, don’t give up hope — the above advice, as well as various other resources, can help make small improvements. Austic behaviour can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help your child to learn and grow.