Autism is a condition characterized by challenges in speech, intellectual ability, motor and general social skills.
There are several types of autism. The condition is caused by genetic and environmental factors, and it presents a big puzzle to caregivers.
Taking care of an autistic child can be devastating.
If you have just learnt that your child has autism, you most probably are frightened and wondering how you will take care of your child without necessarily wearing yourself out.
If you are wondering on how to adequately take care of your autistic child, read on. The tips discussed below will come in handy in ensuring you as a parent, or caretaker effectively and adequately takes care of an autistic child.
1. Accept your child’s condition
The first and most significant step towards ensuring your child leads almost a healthy life is accepting their situation.
Being at peace with your child’s condition will boost your self-esteem, as well as the kid’s.
Do not compare your child to other children.
Celebrate any small progress as if it were a significant achievement. Let the kid know that you love them unconditionally.
If they feel the love, the kid’s self-esteem is boosted.
This way, they will have the zeal to engage in activities that boost their growth and development.
2. Be consistent to reinforce learning
Autistic children may have problems putting to action what they learn. If the parent does not ensure they rehearse what the child has mastered, they will most probably forget everything.
A parent should keep abreast with what the child learns at school or at the therapist’s.
You should then help the child rehearse what they discovered.
A child may have little or no interest in rehearsing.
In fact, they may feel like you are harassing them.
This is why a parent should create a consistent schedule of rehearsing. For instance, it becomes easier for an autistic child to learn sign language if they are taught the same at the same hours daily.
3. Always reinforce positive behavior
If you fail to reinforce positivity in your child, you are creating a risky precedence.
Any little progress should be awarded praises, celebrations or even material rewards.
Make an effort to catch’ the child doing something positive.
If not, you could give them a chance to perform their newly learned skill, and later award them.
4. Create a safe environment for them
Ensure that the home environment is safe for an autistic child to play.
It is advisable to secure a safe play-zone’ for your kid in the house.
Keep the room safe from anything that can hurt the child.
Some autistic children are prone to throwing tantrums, violent behaviors
and self-injurious characteristics.
If the room is not safe for the child to play around, they may seriously injure themselves.
You do not want to add injuries to autism because it takes a twist that will change how you give to your child.
Keep your home safe not only for your autistic kid but also for everyone.
5. Play with the child
Spend a lot of time playing with your child.
Just like any other child, autistic children love to have fun.
They love to engage in educational and therapeutic activities.
Playing with the child will make them feel loved.
Show the kid how different toys are used.
Playing with the kid will also help them develop their social skills.
Ensure you show them their boundaries while playing, and letting them know what they can touch, and what they cannot.
6. Master their non-verbal cues
Autistic children mostly have challenges with verbal communication.
They, therefore, use non-verbal cues to communicate.
Learn this non-verbal cues to enhance communication with the child.
The child may throw tantrums, use gestures, signs and body language to communicate.
Learn these cues and act accordingly whenever a child needs anything.
It is also essential to learn what bothers the child, what the child enjoys, and what relaxes them.
7. Create an effective treatment plan
There are different treatment plans for autistic children.
This is because there are different spectrums of the autism.
All in all, the treatment plan should:
- Focus on cultivating the child’s interest
- Create a predictable learning and play schedule
- Teach skills and tasks as a series of simplified steps
- Reinforce positive behavior
- Involve parents, teachers and therapists
Once the child’s strengths have been established, the treatment plan should focus on reinforcing the strengths.
The plan should incorporate means of using the kids plan to learn new skills.
When choosing an autistic treatment, it is advisable to consult a therapist and doctors.
Some treatments aim at reducing problematic and undesirable traits while building positive traits.
Some approaches focus on sensory integration problems, emotional balance, speech development and development of motor skills.
8. Teach self-care skills
It is essential to have in mind that not all autistic people are the same.
Some have abilities that others do not have.
If the child is not able to take care of themselves, it is advisable to teach them one skill at a go.
For instance, teach them to brush their teeth, and then show them how to bath.
Do not be frustrated when they do not master the skills.
It may take time for them to learn a skill.
Patience is required whenever dealing with autistic children.
9. Expose the child to the world around them
Spend a lot of time with the kid.
Take them to shows, shopping, do groceries, and even to the malls. Do not lock up the kid.
Exposing the kid to the environment helps them develop social skills, and have a look at what is around them.
No parent is prepared to have a kid who is less than healthy and happy.
All parents wish to have bouncy children, who will progress to their adulthood without any significant health conditions.
If your kid has been diagnosed with autism, you will have to be emotionally stable, for yourself and the child.
Taking good care of them will make their growth and development easy.
Autism can be overwhelming.
It is good to have a few nights or day off when your child is of course under the care of a nanny.
Furthermore, you could join support groups for autistic children.
In this autistic support groups, you can learn tips on how to take care of autistic children, without necessarily wearing yourself out.