Once you know that your child has or may have Autism Spectrum Disorder, it is of absolute importance to begin the treatment right away. Research in the field have stated that the treatment for autism is most effective when started at the earliest stage.
Here are some tips for the parents of children with autism, that’ll help the children thrive.
- Structure & Safety
It is advisable for a parent to learn all they can about autism & get involved in the treatment. Create an environment of consistency between various spaces like the school, the therapist’s office and home, which would help the child apply the skills learned in one place to the other. Design a structured schedule with a time for everything; it helps the children meet the need for consistency. Apply positive reinforcement with rewards for positive behaviour while clearly mentioning the exact behaviour they’re being rewarded for. The reward may be a verbal praise, a gesture, a sticker or their favourite toy. Create a zone within the home for the child to relax in and feel safe.
- Connect Non-Verbally
It may be tough to connect with a child with ASD, but by being observant and picking up on non-verbal indications, you can progress a lot faster. Pay attention to their reactions or gestures when they are happy, hungry, tired, or want something. Try and figure out the reason behind their tantrums, it is often when they do not get the attention they want, or when their needs are not met. They are children, and you are human too, chalk in some fun time with them which is not therapy and is completely unpressured. Understand what your child is hypersensitive to; what aggravates them, what calms them down, what disturbs them and what is it that they enjoy.
- Personalised Autism Treatment Plan
While there may be a lot of different, often conflicting advise coming from well wishers, remember that there is no set treatment plan to suit every child with ASD. All the children on Autism Spectrum are different in their abilities and limitations. You know them best, so make sure that with the current plan is designed keeping in mind your child’s strengths & weaknesses, the problematic behavioural traits & problem skill areas, the best suited mode of learning for your child and the activities your child enjoys that may be incorporated into the treatment plan. Finally, it is your involvement that is instrumental for any treatment plan to succeed.
- Seek Help
Taking care of a child with ASd can be demanding and stressful. It is impossible to do everything on your own. Try and look for help. Help for your daily tasks, help for your mental and emotional well being. The whole stress can take a toll on your personal relationships or your own psyche. Approach a good counsellor to address your personal and interpersonal issues too.