Everyday Tips for Raising Children with Autism
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder face a number of challenges, and being prepared can help you address them more easily. For instance, doing research on autism spectrum disorder can give you a better idea of what to expect, but also how to connect with your child on a more meaningful level. And with that in mind, here are some other great everyday tips for parents who are raising a child with autism.
Connect on Your Child’s Level
Human communication goes far beyond the words people say to one another, and there are many ways you can connect with your child, even if that doesn’t involve speech or touch. Connecting with your child is important for developing your relationship, and part of that includes:
- Communicating through body language
- Learning your child’s verbal or nonverbal cues regarding needs and wants
- Learning your child’s interests and engaging in them together
- Using your tone of voice and facial cues to communicate your feelings
Learn Everything You Can About Your Child
It may be challenging to learn about what your child does and doesn’t like, but doing so will make life much more enjoyable for you both. For instance, if your child is triggered by loud noises, knowing this can help you avoid situations that might cause stress and agitation. Similarly, it’s important to learn what calms, scares, excites, engages, and stresses your child so that you can advocate on his or her behalf.
Focus on the Cause Rather than the Behavior
Once you understand your child’s likes and dislikes, it will be easier to understand his or her behavior, and from there you can focus on the cause. For instance, if your child starts acting out at the mall, it will help to remember that your child finds loud noises stressful, and you can remove the negative stimulus to help alleviate the behavior. Similarly, it can help to create a safe space at home where your child can go when feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is an effective way to help children learn, and you can use praise to reward your child for things like learning new skills, choosing appropriate actions, or behaving in a way that you want to see repeated.
Provide Routine and Consistency
Consistency is important to your child for a number of reasons, including that it will help to minimize stress and encourage the application of knowledge in different areas. One of the easiest ways to create consistency is through a daily routine, which can include having regular wake up, bed, and meal times, having therapy sessions at the same time and on the same days each week and having your own personal schedules that you develop together. Similarly, you can also create consistency by continuing at home with lessons and skills that your child learns at school or in therapy.
Come up with Manageable Goals and Tasks
Just as routines and consistency are important, so too are having goals and ambitions to work towards. The goals that are manageable will depend on your child, but having goals is an opportunity to provide more structure, bond with your child, and put positive reinforcement into practice.
Different therapies are also very effective tools for helping children with autism, and that includes medical devices like Mente’s home device, which uses neurofeedback technology to promote relaxation in children with autism. The daily sessions provide an easy, everyday solution to common challenges and can promote relaxation, improve communication skills, increase attention spans and improve behaviour.