Here are 5 ways to support a child with autism

autism

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Learning that your child has or may have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be a difficult experience for parents. There will be many thoughts and worries about the future and things you need to do to keep your child from suffering. While we know that getting an ASD diagnosis can be difficult, advancements in the field have come a long way and even people diagnosed with the condition can live long and healthy lives. Below are five methods shared by Hirak Patel, Consulting Psychologist, Fortis Hospital Mulund & Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi that any parent can use to help a child diagnosed with autism.

autism

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Don’t wait for a definitive diagnosis

If a child shows any signs of autism or similar developmental delays, it is best to start therapy as soon as possible. Never wait for your child to catch up or grow out of a problem. A formal diagnosis is also not required. The earlier children with autism start treatment, the better the results. Early intervention is the most efficient and effective strategy to enhance a child’s development and reduce autism symptoms over time.

Give your child structure and stability

Children with autism need consistency in their lives. Children with this condition often have difficulty applying what they have learned in one setting (e.g. school or therapist’s office) to another, e.g. B. at home to apply. For example, a child may use sign language to communicate at school but not at home. Therefore, providing consistency in the learning environment is crucial as it will help them reinforce the same behaviors in all situations. An ideal approach to achieve this is to learn from the therapist what the child is being taught, and then teach the same things at home or in other places/locations. Equally important is the parent’s consistent communication with the child and dealing with problematic behaviors such as tantrums and bad behavior.

Reward good behavior

Positive reinforcement is crucial for any child, but especially for children with ASD, so make an effort to reward everything they do right. Praise them for good behavior or for quickly learning a new skill. Giving them a sticker or allowing them to play with a favorite item is also a good way to encourage acceptable behavior.

autism

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Be part of a support group for parents who have children with AHD

Join a parent group that supports children with AHD if you haven’t already. You will make important connections that will help you navigate the difficult aspects of raising a child with this condition. Finding parents of children with your child’s level of autism is a fantastic idea so you can share the experience together where you can learn something new and receive support through the difficult times.

Pay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities

The majority of ASD children are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Some children are “oversensitive” to sensory stimulation on the other end of the spectrum. It’s important to find out what sights, sounds, smells, movements, and tactile sensations are causing your child’s “bad” or disruptive behavior. What circumstances prompt them to behave appropriately? What causes your child stress and what relaxes them? Understanding what affects your child will help you better anticipate problems, avoid situations that cause problems, and create positive experiences for your child and family.

A note for parents, from the expert

As a parent, it is important that you take care of yourself and your health. Autism is a marathon, not a sprint; You owe it to yourself and your child to be well fed, healthy, and happy, so do what it takes. If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for support and, if necessary, consider therapy that will provide you with a safe environment in which to express yourself without hurting others.

Also read: https://www.femina.in/wellness/health/understanding-autism-and-recognizing-signs-for-timely-intervention-199464.html

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