You couldn’t have had prepared yourself for when the doctors told you your child has autism. Whether that day was 5 years ago, or just last week, many worries and fears may have already crossed your mind. You may be unsure how to move forward and help your child overcome their challenges. You want to become the best parent you can be to your child in need, but don’t quite know how to get there.
The first thing to do is to start treatment as soon as possible. The earlier children with autism get medical help, the greater their chance of treatment success. Early intervention is the best way to boost your child’s development pace and decrease the autism symptoms throughout his life.
Here is a concise guide for parents to give the best care for their children with autism:
1. Provide safety and structure
- Be consistent. Children with autism often find it difficult to apply what they’ve learned in one setting to a different one (e.g. play therapy school to home.) This is why it is important to create consistency in your child’s environment to reinforce learning. Observe your child’s therapists, how your child responds to them, and then recreate them in the home. This includes teaching tools, communication methods, and even the way you respond to their challenging behaviors.
- Stick to a schedule. Children with autism do best in a highly-structured routine or schedule. Create a routine schedule for their meals, school, therapy, and bedtime, and do your best to stick to them.
- Reward good behavior. Catch them doing something good and reward them for it.
2. Explore nonverbal ways to communicate
Connecting to children with autism can prove to be challenging, but there are many ways to communicate with them without talking.
- Look out for nonverbal cues. Be attentive to their facial expressions, the sounds they make, and their body language when they’re hungry, tired, or want something.
- Allow playtime. There is more to autism than just therapy. After all, they’re still children. Schedule playtime with your child when they are most awake and alert.
Playis a crucial part of learning for all kids with autism and shouldn’t feel like work or pressured time.
3. Create a personalized autism treatment plan
countless treatment varieties available, which may be confusing for parents to
figure out which approach is best for their child. Keep in mind, there is no
one size fits all therapy for children with autism. Each child is unique and
will need a personalized autism treatment plan customized to their needs.
4. Accept help and support
Caring for a child with autism will demand a lot of your time and energy, and without proper support system, any parent will easily get stressed, or discouraged. Don’t try to do everything on your own! Find an autism support group within your area or don’t hesitate to ask help from friends and family.
For more information regarding autism and how to care for a child with this condition, head over to this article by HelpGuide.org.
Are you caring for a child with autism? What other tips can you share to help parents give the best life for their children with special needs? Let us know in the comments below!