Written by: Tommy Twos
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have distinct needs and raising them is nothing less than a test for the parent’s emotional intelligence.
It is commonly believed that ASD could persist as a life-long condition, having drastic effects on the development of the child. However, this is not true. We believe that as a parent you can nurture your child with a structured and well-informed approach. This guide will provide you 10 tested tips for parenting a child with autism.
- Act As Soon As You Suspect
People usually believe that no action should be taken regarding a child’s health before a proper diagnosis. However, if your child is challenged with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we want you to think otherwise.
It is essential that as a parent, you’re prepared to act quickly when you get signs of a child adapting unusual behavior.
You need to be proactive to detect any issues related to their health and prompt action as soon as possible. Early intervention may help to ease symptoms more comfortably than a decision to wait patiently to see if the child will outgrow the early developmental problems.
- Work With Structure And Schedule
Working with a child challenged with ASD requires a proper schedule and structure. You as a parent must realize the need to adopt a structured approach to help your child learn about the environment.
Besides, children who are challenged for their fundamental development require rigorous care and a healthy routine to adapt essential life skills and learn acceptable behavior.
- Hire A Caretaker If You’re Busy
It’s really important that you understand the needs of your child and how your health may affect your potential to deliver. Make sure that your child has enough attention.
You may want to hire a caretaker if you’re too busy. Collaborating with an experienced caretaker who has previously worked with a kid challenged with ASD could provide you better insight on improving child behavior.
- Be Patient
Helping a child with ASD improve and learn normal behavior is not easy. You must show utmost patience and perseverance with the approaches you apply for treating your child.
Behavioral therapies require great care and patience on the part of parents. Therefore, you should not be disheartened if a specific method does not work.
- Avoid Comparing your Child with Others
Comparing your child with other children would do no good to your care aspirations for them. From a practical viewpoint, you need to accept the positives.
Appreciate your child for paying attention to you and following your instructions. They may not have the efficacy to execute in the desired way. But, you must look for the positives and accept the fact that your child will develop with time.
- Seek Support
As a parent, you should seek support and work closely with specialists to enhance your knowledge and navigate the transition in behavior. You may seek support from a care center.
To get more on treatment techniques for children with ASD, you may check for therapists near you.
According to one of the ABA Therapy Chicago centers, “Children with autistic need special attention and care. Most parents often find themselves hopeless when raising a child challenged with ASD. Timely support and assistance for your child can do wonders for your child’s development and overall well-being”.
- Devote Time And Effort To A Personalized Care Plan
Children with autism are likely to have sensory sensitivities. As a parent pursuing a structured treatment approach, you should know what kind of smell, sound, taste, and light could trigger a hypersensitive response from your child.
You must separate those that can trigger a pleasant mode from those that incite a bad mood. You need to be empathetic and know how your child feels when exposed to different environments. Playing games often help children diagnosed with ASD.
More importantly, you need to devote more time and effort to set up a personalized care plan for your child. Don’t wait for things to get normal with time.
You must understand the fact that each child is different and a common treatment approach may not prove to be fruitful for the child. As a parent, you must know what are the strengths and weaknesses of your child and what are the things your kid would enjoy.
- Never Give Up
The conditional reinforcement method is often remarked as an effective methodology to induce the adoption of positive behaviors from children challenged with ASD.
It is worthwhile to know that you need to apply the positive reinforcement method. Your child must be conditioned to adopt good behavior and expect a reward in return.
Negative reinforcements are not encouraged to control unwanted behavior. Punishing your child or scolding them for something they shouldn’t have done could exasperate the issues with them. Children with developmental delays should be approached with a positive reinforcement approach only.
- Understand your Child’s Non-verbal Cues
You don’t have to infuse all the necessary language knowledge in your child’s little brain. Children challenged with ASD may not be able to communicate in the desired language. Alternatively, you need to pay attention to the non-verbal cues. Your child can feel comforted and motivated with your tone of voice, body language, and your touch. Their non-verbal reactions could be taken as cues for their character development. You don’t have to overdo it with teaching language. It’s essential that you pay attention, stay patient, and look for non-verbal cues.
- Allow Exposure To The Outer World
Instead of stressing yourself and your child indoors, we believe you should go out for a walk with your child. Take them to the grocery store for shopping. Exposing them to the outer environment may stimulate feelings of fear, but you should be brave to provide them space outside. It is through this exposure that your child will be able to learn the required behavior. It may also help to connect with the autism community to gain support and find yourself in an environment that embraces autistic children with a community aim devoted to improving their lives.