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How To Support Parents With Autistic Child

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Know The Silent Signs

How to parent my autistic child

Many autistic children are non-verbal. However, verbal autistic children often struggle to express emotions. It’s a parent’s responsibility to know and understand these silent signals. Take notice of the noises and faces that they make. Children with autism usually use body language to communicate their wants and needs.

Knowing these signs can aid in preventing breakdowns associated with their inability to verbally express these things. This will take a lot of patience. Repetitive motions are common in children with ASD. The gestures that they make may have almost unnoticeable differences. Yet, the slightest variation can be the difference between a smile and a tantrum.

Onset Of Autism: Early Onset Vs Regression

Autism develops sometime during pregnancy and the first three years of life. Some parents report that their child seemed different at birth. These children are referred to as having early-onset autism. Other parents report that their child seemed to develop normally and then had a major regression resulting in autism, usually around 12-24 months. These children are referred to as having late-onset or regressive autism. Some researchers argue that the regression is not real or the autism was simply unnoticed by the childs parents. However, many parents report that their children were completely normal until sometime between 1 and 2 years of age.

A study published in 2003, conducted by the first author, compared 53 autistic children with 48 typical peers. The parents of the early-onset autism group reported a significant delay in reaching developmental milestones, including age of crawling , sitting up , walking , and talking . Thus, there appeared to be a delay in gross motor skills as well as of talking, so many children with autism also need physical therapy. In contrast, the late-onset autism group reached developmental milestones at the same time as typical children.

How Should I Discipline My Autistic Child

Tantrums and other difficult behaviors often emerge from an autistic childs need to communicate. An essential component of discipline is therefore identifying what sparked their meltdown or what they want to express. Maybe the child was overwhelmed by the crowd at a holiday dinner or forbidden from playing with a toy. The first step of disciplining a child is observing and identifying potential triggers.

Parents may then seek to implement a system of rewards for positive behavior and punishment for negative behavior. Following this plan consistently can help the child understand the consequences of their actions.

Also Check: Self Diagnosed Autism

About Stress In Families With Autistic Children

Stress is a normal part of life, something that most people and most families experience.

But families with autistic children can experience more stress than other families. For example, they might feel stressed because they:

  • are coming to terms with a diagnosis and what it means for their child
  • are finding it hard to manage daily life with an autistic child
  • are having trouble managing challenging behaviour in their autistic child
  • arent sure how to help their autistic child build confidence and a positive self-image
  • need a break from caring for their autistic child but dont know how to get respite
  • are having trouble navigating the service system.

Although an autism diagnosis affects the whole family, family members might be stressed by different things about the diagnosis or different aspects of life with an autistic child. They might also respond to and express stress in different ways.

Some stress can be OK, giving you the motivation and focus to face challenges and get things done. But too much stress can be overwhelming, making it difficult to cope with everyday things.

So if you feel your family is having trouble coping, its important to do something to manage the stress in your family life.

Stress can affect individual family members, and it can also affect your relationships with each other. Recognising each others feelings and looking after your family relationships can help you with family stress management.

Attending Social Skills Training Programs

Autism Parents

Nowadays, you can find various educational programs in your city for children with autism for example, Emotion Based Social Skills Training specializes in teaching social skills so that special needs children can end their difficulties with making friends, understanding the behaviors of others, and interact with other children without getting stressed or angry. Case studies have shown that such programs bring about excellent results when children with special needs attend them consistently.

Also Check: Symbols For Autism

Find A Parent Support System

It is very important for parents with autism to be patient and understanding and to find support for themselves. Sometimes adults can find it frustrating to be patient with and understand their children, and that is why parents need to find support groups that offer them a platform for communication where they can share their thoughts, approaches, discuss problems, and find effective ways to overcome problems. Parent support groups provide various and effective strategies for finding ways to help parents. Look for parent support groups on the Internet and on social media. You will most likely find one within driving distance of where you live.

There are a lot of methods and strategies that can be applied when trying to improve social skills for children with ASD. Special programs that can help such children with practicing social skills and developing positive behaviors will certainly result in better social outcomes for you and your child. All of the above-mentioned methods will help autistic children to communicate with their peers and feel more comfortable in society.

Give Them A Safe Place

Home should always be a safe place for children with ASD. Create a place that they can call their own and makes them feel secure. Children with ASD tend to need boundaries. You may feel the need to take safety measures such as covering electrical sockets and keeping sharps out of reach. As previously stated, visual aids work well with autistic children.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Tell If Your Baby is Overtired

Find a way to show them the limits and boundaries If you dont want them in a certain area, use signs and colors to express this. Using labels is also helpful. Take these precautions based on your childs behavior patterns.

Also Check: Toys For 2 Year Old Autistic Child

Support At Nursery Or School

We want children with autism to get the right support as early as possible to help them develop to their full potential at nursery, school and beyond.

Nurseries and early years providers in Gateshead must have arrangements in place in order to identify as early as possible if a child has additional needs and to provide relevant support for them using their own budget. If your child is already at nursery and you feel they need additional support, speak to a member of staff at the nursery about what support is available. You can ask to see a copy of their SEND Information report which explains how they identify and provide support for children with additional needs. Gateshead Council also commissions a special team called the Early Years Support which helps nurseries and early years providers with the assessment of and provision of intervention, support and reviews for children identified as needing additional significant help.

More information: Education provision

Find out more about the range of specialist educational provision and support available for school-age children with autism in Gateshead.

Information about home education can be found on our home education webpage.

What Does A Child With Autism Look Like

How parents can help autistic children

Seems like a strange question. But I know that there have been times when a person has met my son and then makes a comment such as, “He doesn’t seem like he has autism.” or “He doesn’t look like he has autism.”

The interesting thing is that there is no “look” to autism. Yes, some of our kids may have similar behavioral or social characteristics, but they are all very different. So this is why if someone tells me they have experience in autism, that doesn’t mean they will know or understand my child.

If you do know, watch, or teach another child with autism, it is best not to compare what you know to the child you are meeting. Also, I would refrain from telling your friend about how you think autism should “look.” Being open to learning the hallmarks of autism is important, but learning about the individuality of each child who has autism is the best approach.

Recommended Reading: Autism Level 3 Prognosis

Learning To Read With Autism

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can face distinct challenges in learning to read. ASD is a spectrum, so the range of challenges is different for every child. But for many young children with ASD, it affects the development of foundational language and social skills. This impacts reading readiness, comprehension skills, and a child’s overall approach to learning.

This is why it’s especially important to explicitly provide children with ASD the .

How Do We Get A Diagnosis For Autism

Assistance available for the families of children with autism depends on the diagnosis of the child and how the child is being affected by the condition. The diagnosis process and the Education and Healthcare Plan process are significant hurdles. Child Autism UK provides advice and support to families facing the processes on which funding for the treatment of the condition depends. We can also provide a limited number of Bursaries to families unhappy with their final EHC Plan .

Also Check: Autism Cognition

Ask The Right Questions

Ask comprehension questions suited to your child’s strengths. Children with ASD are usually more capable of answering literal comprehension questions rather than inferential, so focus on Who, What, Where and When questions after reading.

To help you, every book in the Reading Eggs program has some literal questions at the end to build comprehension skills.

How To Discipline A Child On The Autism Spectrum

How to Support Siblings of a Child on the Autism Spectrum ...

The purpose of discipline is to set healthy boundaries and clear expectations of appropriate behavior, not to punish or embarrass your child.

While there are certainly challenges to disciplining a child on the autism spectrum, discipline instills valuable lessons that the child will take with them their whole lives. Keep reading to learn safe, effective, and compassionate strategies for how to discipline a child on the autism spectrum.

Don’t Miss: How To Make A Visual Schedule For Autism

Take Action If Youre Concerned

Take action if youre concerned that your child might have autism. He may not be able to tell you whats wrong, so its up to you to try and determine whether or not he has early signs of autism.

If you think you see the signs of autism in children, call your doctor for an evaluation as soon as possible to help prevent further difficulties down the road and make life easier for both you and your child.

After reading this article, we can understand that parents should watch out for their children differently according to their age. If they suspect any abnormalities in their children, they should immediately contact a doctor. Parents need to regularly monitor their children s development when they are in their early years. They also need to be aware of the most common symptoms of autism in children. If parents are worried about their childs possible autism, they should take action as soon as possible to help children start receiving early treatments.

Does My Child Have Autism

A person with autism has problems talking, being friends, and changing. Doctors look at 3 things to diagnose autism: impaired communication, social interaction, and repetitive behavior patterns. If you have a child who doesnt talk to people well or has many friends and does the same thing over and over again they might have autism. But it is tough to tell if a child has autism or not without a doctors help because it can be hard to find out how bad the problems are by just looking at them.

Read Also: Autistic Surgeon Show

Parent Child Interaction Therapy

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is a treatment program specially engineered to help parents and children improve their relationship and to train parents with the fundamental skills to maintain the behavioral issues of their children. However, the therapist team can help to find out if PCIT program meets the child-parent team’s needs or not.

Have a question about

PCIT specialists guide parents with particular skills and give them time to hone these specific skills during the program. The various skills range from regular therapy sessions to regular home sessions.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy serves families with children between the ages of 2 and 6 who display chronic behavior problems at home, daycare, preschool or school, and who may be on treatment to handle their behavioral issues. It is important to know that experts will determine whether PCIT is appropriate for each specific case, based on the specific symptoms and requirements displayed by the child and the family.

The PCIT services include the following:

Be Aware Of Sensory Sensitivities

Parenting a Child with Autism – 10 helpful tips / suggestions to help parents with children with ASD

Some other classic characteristics of autism are extreme sensitivity to light, loud noise, physical contact, odors, and tastes. Its imperative to know what sets your child off in regards to their senses. What causes a bad or a good reaction? What is stressful or soothing to them?

The key to successfully treating and supporting a child with autism is understanding all of the things that affect them, what the effects of those things are and how your child functions as an individual with a developmental disorder. Dont set unrealistic expectations on your child but dont set limitations either.

Recommended Reading: High Functioning Autism Prognosis

Tip : Find Help And Support

Caring for a child with ASD can demand a lot of energy and time. There may be days when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or discouraged. Parenting isnt ever easy, and raising a child with special needs is even more challenging. In order to be the best parent you can be, its essential that you take care of yourself.

Dont try to do everything on your own. You dont have to! There are many places that families of children with ASD can turn to for advice, a helping hand, advocacy, and support:

ADS support groups Joining an ASD support group is a great way to meet other families dealing with the same challenges you are. Parents can share information, get advice, and lean on each other for emotional support. Just being around others in the same boat and sharing their experience can go a long way toward reducing the isolation many parents feel after receiving a childs diagnosis.

Respite care Every parent needs a break now and again. And for parents coping with the added stress of ASD, this is especially true. In respite care, another caregiver takes over temporarily, giving you a break for a few hours, days, or even weeks.

Affordable Online Therapy for Help and Support

Get professional help from BetterHelps network of licensed therapists.

Educate Yourself About Your Childs Condition

Youll need to do some research before fully understanding how to discipline a child on the autism spectrum.

Read up on the condition to make sure youre setting realistic expectations for your child. Some behaviors cannot be disciplined away by a parent, and should instead be evaluated by a professional.

For example, self-stimulation is very common in children with autism. These behaviors help them regulate their emotions, and you could do more harm than good by punishing them for doing it.

Remember that autism exists on a spectrum, meaning every child will experience different symptoms in different ways. Its a good idea to speak with other parents whose children have autism. Youll get a better idea of how to set expectations, especially if you speak with a parent whose child has symptoms similar to yours.

Also Check: Jerry Seinfeld Autistic

Communication Skills Of Autistic Children

Autistic children face many challenges because of communication issues. Parents often ask What are the communication skills of autistic children? There are three areas that need to be addressed when communicating with your child or someone elses autistic child. Spoken language is what most people think about first when asked this question. But the truth is much more complicated than that. We all use gestures, facial expressions, and written words to communicate, not just spoken words. People who cannot speak at all still have ways to express themselves. Its through body language and hand signs like sign language. Facial expressions are another form of nonverbal communication. That is important to understand to help your child interact in different situations.

There are many challenges when communicating with autistic children. Autism is described as a spectrum disorder, meaning that the symptoms vary greatly from one person to another. Some people with autism cannot speak at all. While others have almost normal spoken language skills but may not understand what you say to them or may talk too much without taking turns well in a conversation. Many autistic people have trouble reading facial expressions or understanding the tone of voice.

People who have problems with social interaction usually have trouble interpreting the feelings and emotions of other people through their tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions and body language.

Families With Children On The Autism Spectrum Have More Similarities To Your Family Than You May Realize

How Parents Can Support Children With Special Needsâ¦

Children with ASD want to play with their peers, talk about Minecraft more than their parents would like and are trying to figure out how the world works. Just like you, parents with children with ASD are proud of their children, want the best life for them and wish they could put a few more hours in the day to get it all done. If you, as a parent, can understand the differences that ASD brings to a family, you can help your child to be the best possible friend and provide a helping hand to another parent.

Rachel Cheyne, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who has been practicing with Pine Rest at the Northwest Clinic since 2005. Prior to joining Pine Rest, Dr. Cheyne provided outpatient therapy for special needs foster children in Muskegon for seven years. Dr. Cheyne completed her undergraduate training at Calvin College and earned her Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green University. Dr. Cheynes primary clinical focus is on outpatient therapy for children and their families and adults providing solution focused family therapy and parenting techniques.

Also Check: How To Make A Visual Schedule For Autism

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