16 Valuable Tips on How to Deal with Autistic Kids
16 Valuable Tips on Dealing with Autistic Kids
Many parents are normally traumatized when they discover that their children are autistic. This is always a draining realization emotionally and comes with a lot of demands especially if you are to handle the child with love and offer all the required support. It is important for parents or people taking care of autistic kids to take care of themselves to enable them to be emotionally strong thus being able to offer all the support the child needs. For this reason, you will need to take good care of yourself as a parent so as to make a life with an autistic kid easier and of great help.
Although autism isn’t something that one can just “grow out of” your child can learn some valuable skills which can be of great help in overcoming most of the development challenges associated with the condition. There are many avenues through which you can get help to help you meet your kid’s special needs thus helping him/her to grow, learn and succeed with your love and support. This write-up will help you with valuable lessons which can be of great help in case your child is diagnosed with autism.
Initial tips for you as a parent or guardian
In case you are a parent or a guardian whose child has been diagnosed with autism, the following tips will prove helpful even before you progress to the next level of helping the child.
Get the necessary information about autism:
You will be better equipped as a parent if you have accurate information about autism disorder. You will be better placed to make some important decisions about the child and even help others who might be in this same situation. You should learn about the available treatment options and participate in decision making as regards the same.
Get skills regarding your child:
You should be able to study your child and understand what it that triggers his/her disruptive behavior and not only so, but also those things that produce a positive response. What calms or stresses an autistic kid? Understanding your child will give you an edge when it comes to the prevention or troubleshooting of the situation that cause challenges.
Understand your child, traits and everything else:
Instead of comparing your child with others, you should accept him or her along with their special traits. Additionally, celebrate their successes no matter how small they are and love him/her unconditionally.
Don’t give up:
It is challenging to deal with an autistic child but you should hold on there without concluding as to how life will turn out to be for your child. Kids with autism have the capacity to develop different abilities and grow.
Valuable tips on how to deal with autistic kids
Tip No 1: – Think visually and teach using pictures
A great number of autistic children are normally visual learners and thinkers. Using visual aids and pictures when teaching them something will therefore be helpful and effective whenever you want to teach them directional terms, number concepts and word recognition.
Tip No 2: – take note of any environmental distractions
Autistic kids can easily be distracted by things such as loud sounds and bright lights thus making them uncomfortable. When this happens, it makes it hard for them to learn or concentrate and even leads to a certain level of irritation. Always consider the sensory needs of the child during therapy and teaching. Some kids normally learn better in near-darkness or in silent environment while others do it using their hands or while moving in order to concentrate. Being keen with a child with autism is necessary as it will help you understand which sensory environment is most favorable for their learning.
Tip No 3: – Use something special to connect with autistic child
To increase the child’s attention and improve his or her academic skills, it is always good to use a fixation, area of interest or a unique talent to connect with ease. You can easily observe what the child likes and incorporate it in their therapy session or lesson plan. For example, if the kid has an interest in butterflies, incorporate butterflies by either playing a video about butterflies with subtitles or count toy butterflies to enhance their word recognition. In case your child has tactile sensory problems, you can take them outside to search for butterflies as this is always a great motivational tool to support recognition of different things such as water, grass or soil.
Tip No 4: – Make use of gadgets
Technology such as CDs, TVs, Laptops and computers can be of great help since autistic kids normally respond well to visual signs than written or verbal instructions. There are various software programs that could be beneficial in teaching these children. You might find that your kid communicates easily by typing as opposed to writing or speaking. Remember, you are trying to make learning easier and enjoyable for maximum concentration. You can encourage the child to use the computer keyboard for enhanced communication.
Tip No 5: – Make your communication simple and clear
Kids with autism do not easily decode figurative language and you should therefore avoid it completely when communicating with them. Instead, your expectations and instructions should be simple and clear and whenever communicating, endeavor to use concrete terms only and emphasize the ideas through modeling or by use of pictures. Do not give your child lengthy verbal instructions. In case you are giving some tasks, always break them down into small bits and use clearly defined steps for accompanying instructions. Never go to the second step unless the child has finished with the first one.
Tip No 6: – Avoid generalizations
Autistic kids normally relate a behavior or skill with a particular location. For instance, your child may relate the use of a handkerchief to his home or school without knowing that they can use the same elsewhere. For the child to master each skill, you might need to repeat the lessons at various locations consistently.
Essential behavior tips when dealing with autistic kids
Stick to a schedule:
For them to feel secure, children with autistic syndrome normally require a routine. Even the least amount of disruption in the routine could lead to unwanted tantrums and cause regression. As a teacher or parent, you should have a daily planner includes visual aids and photos. Come up with sleep times, meal times and therapy which should be followed at the same time during the day. In case there will be any changes to the routine, make sure you have prepared the child before implementation. Even when you have to trace away from home, your child should have a prior knowledge of it to help adjust easily.
Avoid reinforcing undesired behavior:
If your kid asks for something, give that very thing to him or her even when he wants something else. You should use encouragement to help your child response properly. A reward should be considered for correct response and as much as possible, do not punish incorrect responses or negative behavior severely. You should be able to show disapproval for such negative behavior.
Use repetition tactics:
Whenever you want to teach your child new skills, modify behavior or improve communication, repetition will be very necessary. This helps autistic kids to learn faster and retain information with ease especially when done in different settings. Repetition does not enforce robotic behavior or speech in autistic children contrary to common believe.
Always take one step at a time in behavior modification:
In case your child has various behavioral issues, note them down and categorize them based on their severity or importance. In case there is any behavior that puts the kid or other people in danger, you should address it first. You should not address all the issues at the same time as this will yield no suitable results. Instead, address one problem first and once you achieve the desired goal, turn to the next in the line.
Use modeling principle to enhance socialization:
Autistic children have many challenges especially when processing social prompts and reading. It is therefore important to assist them so that they can know how to respond and act in social surroundings. The best way to achieve effectiveness in this is through modeling. For example, if you want your child to learn that he or she should shake hand after a social introduction, set an example while he is present by shaking hands whenever you meet new people. Call the child’s attention to this behavior whenever you are doing it allowing him or her to take a cue of the same.
Exercise patience and kind always:
When dealing with an autistic kid, patience is very important. You must build patience towards the kid and yourself as this relationship can be frustrating considering that the child will take long before improving in different aspects. Always take regular breaks and enjoy some time to yourself. Do not lose heart when your efforts seem to be unsuccessful.
There are various approaches and therapies available as part of autism treatment. Some of these therapies are designed to help build social skills, enhance communication and reduce problematic behaviors. Others focus on emotional issues, sensory integration problems, food sensitivities and motor skills. The right treatment should have a holistic approach; you can pick the right one by talking to an autism expert, and learning as much as you can about this condition. Observing your child closely is also encouraged in order to identify their specific needs.
Piano Lesson for Autistic Kids
One of our lesson provider, Carolyn, could provide home teaching piano lessons for any autistic and ADHD child, based on the child’s individual characters and types of autism diagnosed. Any parents who wish to engage piano lessons for their autistic kids, feel free to look for more information here.
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