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A Special Guide for Special Parents
Raising a child is an amazing gift and a great responsibility. And, if the child is autistic, the responsibility greatly increases. An autistic child finds it extremely difficult to feel and behave normally in any social setting. Also, the challenges associated with autism can make it difficult for the parents to raise and discipline their child.
If you are raising an autistic child, we understand the hardships you must face day in and day out. To help you better deal and thrive through the hardships, we have some handy tips that will empower you to be better prepared.
Understand that your Child’s Autism is Unique
Autism is a challenging reality. Bringing up an autistic child is a job that requires extreme tenderness and care. One of the biggest issues is that people think it puts everyone having this condition in the same box. This generalising thought is embedded in ignorance, it adds to the stigma and takes away from personalized care. The adage ‘every kid is different’ still holds true when it comes to kids with autism, and therefore, requires you as parents to be aware and informed of this.
To be able to naturally and constantly be in a state of empathy and active service to your child, you first need to understand what autism is. Self-education through various reliable sources certainly helps. Before we dive in further, let’s start with the basic understanding of what is Autism.
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term broadly used for several conditions characterized by problems with cognitive skills, social skills, speech and non-verbal communication, and repetitive behavior. Since there are multiple conditions that affect a child with Autism to varying degrees; every autistic child has a unique character.
This is the reason there are several subtypes of autism as well. One child’s social and cognitive skills may be much worse or better than other children suffering from the same disorder, and this makes every autistic child unique in their own way.
Understand what triggers your child
Certain situations put autistic children in a tight spot and trigger a reaction. To make your child feel comfortable, find out what triggers the disruptive behavior and try your best to prevent those situations. If you can’t on some days, it is still okay; try to learn what works best while calming them down.
Communicate with them
Autistic children have a tough time communicating how they feel. It becomes your duty as parents to help your child develop essential communication skills. Your child’s conversations with you will prove significantly in developing their narrative skills.
Always try to ask them questions about their school, friends, interest, what they like to eat, etc. Ask easy questions and always keep the communication flowing to nurture those communication building blocks.
Don’t Try to “Fix It” -Acceptance is key
To create a healthy, nurturing environment for your child, you must first accept them for who they are.
If the child knows that they are being loved irrespective of how they feel with this condition that they don’t even understand fully, it will get significantly easier for them to come to terms with themselves.
Picking up new habits or learning new things is always difficult for children with autism and if you want to teach your child a new language or subject, you need to be consistent.
Provide him/her with the same learning environment regularly so that he/she can learn and grow.
To reinforce learning and normal development in your child, you can lay your faith in healthcare and treatment providers like Hidden Talents ABA, which curate special treatment plans for autistic children to help them lead a normal life.
Autism is not a disease. You must see it as a personality disorder that stays with a person throughout their life. A child with autism grows like any regular child, and their abilities take shape as the years pass. Have patience and see the gradual bloom over the years.
Nurturing an autistic child is, of course, a bumpy road, but certainly, not a path covered with thorns. Being aware of the condition and knowing the right way of dealing with it will make survival easier for you, as well as for your child.
We hope these insights will help you in this respect.