Autism is a disorder that presents unique challenges to the child, the parents or caregivers. However, an autism diagnosis doesn’t mean your child is doomed for life. They can still have a fruitful childhood and grow to unleash their full potential with your love and guidance. It is high time you lay your reservations to rest and do everything you can to support your autistic child. Keep reading this article to learn how to help a child with autism thrive.
Understand your child
Even if you know where your child lies on the autism spectrum, they are still worlds apart from other kids with the same diagnosis. Therefore, it would be wise to understand their unique quirks and behaviors. Figure out what frightens your child, activities they find enjoyable and things that trigger them into behaving erratically. A deeper understanding of your child will allow you to mitigate stressful situations before they occur.
Learn everything there is to know about autism
There is still so much experts don’t know about autism. You probably didn’t know about the disorder until after your child’s diagnosis. Broadening your knowledge base will help you provide specialized care and meet your child’s needs accordingly. You will also be better positioned to participate in their treatment plan and choose the best one.
Maintain a highly-structured routine
Children thrive under routine, especially those with an autism diagnosis. Since your child craves consistency, ensure you have a structured routine from the time they wake up till they go back to bed. It would be wise to avoid deviating from this schedule as much as possible. However, if you must have a change of plans, ensure you alert your child in advance to prepare them for the sudden shift.
Seek legal help
Research reveals that autism could be caused by a genetic condition or chemical differences in the brain. However, experts reveal that an infant could be diagnosed with autism after exposure to Tylenol in the womb. Suppose you believe your child’s diagnosis was due to consuming Tylenol throughout pregnancy. In that case, you could reach out to a Tylenol autism lawyer to help you get compensation to cater for therapy and any other expenses the condition has incurred.
Use positive reinforcement
It may seem like your child keeps acting out or does the opposite of what you want them to do. However, dwelling on the negatives could leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed. A better alternative would be to focus on the good things they do and reward them. For instance, if they clear their plate at dinner, you could let them play with their favourite toy. As you use positive reinforcement, ensure you are specific about the good behaviour you are rewarding.
Pick up on their non-verbal cues
As you already know, autistic children have difficulty communicating using words. If you are keen, you can pick up on the message they are trying to send using non-verbal cues. For instance, they could make a specific noise or facial expression when they are hungry and don’t have the words to express themselves. Once you are attuned to their non-verbal cues, you will be better positioned to tend to their needs.
Have fun with your child
Play is an integral part of development for children. It may seem like all your child does is go to therapy. You could break the monotony by setting some time apart to play with your baby and have a good time, even though the activities are not educational. Start by figuring out the things they enjoy or games that could pull a hearty laugh out of them.
Never give up
Last but definitely not least, we urge you not to throw in the towel. We understand some days might be tricky, and you never seem to see the light at the end of the towel. Remember that your child has the rest of their life to learn how to adapt to the world and develop their capabilities. It would be wise to weather the storm and keep hoping that better days are yet to come.
It is okay to worry about your child’s future, especially if they have been diagnosed with autism. You may have convinced yourself nothing you do will make a difference since there is no known cure for autism. However, small actions like loving them unconditionally and cultivating a deep understanding of what makes them tick can go a long way in supporting them on their journey.