According to the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), Autism can be reliably diagnosed by the age of 2. Yet, the average age of Autism diagnosis in the US is 5 years. Most parents can agree that the news of a developmental disability defining their child’s life can be a lot to deal with.
Dealing with children with autism can be a bit more challenging as they have difficulty communicating and expressing. A lack of engagement can frustrate both the caretaker. In such circumstances, they fear not being able to help their child be the best version of themselves.
If you are also living with a similar fear constantly, here are some of the best ways to help your child with autism.
1. Follow a Schedule
One of the worst ways to trigger your child with autism may be by hindering their routine. Being on a schedule is essential for children with autism. A lack of consistency can affect their mood, communication skills, and everyday stability.
As mentioned by reliable autism stats, raising a child with autism is a work of dedication. You may face some difficulty keeping up with your child’s routine in the beginning, but everyone eventually gets used to it. Consistency and security in life can help your child function better every day.
The best way to follow through with a schedule is to create one. From meal planning to bedtime, study schedule, and so on, you can mention every big and small detail to cover as many bases as possible and avoid triggering your autistic child.
Of course, every day cannot be the same. Changes are bound to happen. The best way to cope with a change in plan is to communicate with your child and prepare them in advance for an anticipated break in routine. This way, you can lessen the intensity of their reaction.
2. Rely on Expert Resources
According to the World Health Organization, every 1 in 100 children lives with autism. These numbers can look significantly high, but finding another family in the same situation can be a challenge. It can be troubling to not know where to get the needed help and guidance.
You cannot ask anyone without the right knowledge to guide you regarding raising your child. Therefore, it is always a good idea to rely on only the most trustworthy sources and seek guidance on the subject only from the experts.
Refrain from trusting the first person or website you come across on the subject. Instead, explore several resources and ask people with experience. You can also ask your child’s healthcare provider for advice on this matter.
The ideal practice is to join community groups and subscribe to magazines on the subject. The right resources can help you stay updated on the subject and incorporate the best practices in your life to make your child with autism thrive.
3. Accept the Differences
One of the most challenging yet hard things to accept in life for many parents is that their child is different. While it can be a challenge to come to acceptance with this fact, the silver lining is that not all differences are bad.
Instead of considering every aspect of life that sets your child apart from others their age, cherish them as unique. Looking at better things in life can help you make your life with an autistic child easier and more blissful.
Look for the things that make your child exceptional. Whether it's their artistic abilities or focus on studies, it is all about focusing on the things that they are inclined towards instead of criticizing them over things they are not interested in.
An important thing to remember is that always criticizing your child can affect your bond. Do not discourage them by comparing them with their siblings or other children their age. This practice can only make them feel distant from you and guilty for what they may be unable to comprehend.
4. Create a Safe Space
Children with autism do not just require an organized workspace. They also want to feel safe in their environment. As a parent or a caretaker, it is up to you to ensure that your child feels safe, especially in their own home.
Autistic children can find it even harder to communicate in unfamiliar places. Therefore, it is best to maintain a routine and ensure stability in your home, especially in their room. Changes every day can lead to frustration and confusion for them.
You can add another layer of comfort by introducing sensory tools. From a weighted blanket, a plush toy, pet friends, and much more, a child with autism can feel calmer in an environment with consistency. In addition, they can also feel more creative in a safe space.
If you are anticipating any major changes, such as relocating your home or considering a paint job, make sure to talk to your child with autism beforehand. Open communication from your end can help them feel prepared to face the change.
5. Keep Your Cool
Many things in life are easier said than done. One of these things may be not getting frustrated trying to communicate with an autistic child. The struggle of not being able to manage an everyday conversation can leave anyone exhausted. At such times, losing your temper is a possibility.
Keeping your cool with an autistic child can seem like an impossible task. However, this responsibility comes automatically with raising a child with autism. Yelling and generally being loud can cause chronic levels of stress for them.
In addition, all adults can understand that yelling never helps in a message across. It always worsens the situation. You can ensure your composure by trying breathing exercises before you burst out with frustration.
You can try to reason with your child. Even if reasoning does not work out, it is important to remain calm and work with your child to find the best possible solution in every situation. There is always a way to satisfy both ends.