Autism may inhibit children from assimilating. It may be considered as a disorder, but many people think of it as a different perception of the world; or in other words, a neurotype.
Your child’s mind just perceives the world differently and that’s why it needs to be accommodated differently to prosper in life. If you want to know the best methods to help your autistic child, read the following guide.
Give Them Structure
Naturally, you’ll have to educate yourself on the autism spectrum disorder from all the sources that you could get your hands on. They are, after all, the key to understanding your child. After you do that, you can work on giving them a safe structure that they can predict and follow easily. The autistic mind of a child leans toward familiar patterns and finds safety in it, so having a sporadic schedule every day, for example, might not be good for them. That’s why you’ll have to schedule a daily routine and familiarize your child with that routine. You can even write it down for them. You can also provide them with a safety zone in your house to which they can retreat to.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, autistic children aren’t always capable of verbal communication. Sure, they can learn it, but sustaining verbal communication and understanding social cues will be more like a chore, as it won’t come naturally to them the way it does to other children. To find a better and easier way for your children to communicate, try to look for the non-verbal cues they send your way.
Children always try to communicate with their parents and autistic children are no different. However, they’ll do it their own way. If your child often throws tantrums, it’s probably because they feel misunderstood or ignored and this might happen if you don’t pick up on their communication cues. These cues can take the form of facial expressions, hand gestures, or sounds they make when they need something.
Help Them Manage Hyperlexia
Helping your child manage hyperlexia starts with making them learn what hyperlexia is. If your child is old enough, make sure that you talk to them about hyperlexia and how you’re going to help them manage it. There are several techniques that you need to learn first, like giving them time to process verbal requests and giving them written instructions and/ or visual supports to make them understand your requests. If you want your child to have a good command over their communication skills, these techniques to manage hyperlexia should help you do this effectively, especially if you’re consistent. As your child grows up, they’ll have a better grasp over their communication skills thanks to these techniques and, soon enough, they won’t have as much trouble as they used to express themselves and speak.
Recognize Their Sensory Sensitivities
If your child is autistic, they might have sensory sensitivities. You may not notice that because they can’t communicate that information to you, especially if you haven’t already established a method for communicating with your autistic child. Sensory sensitivities might be triggered by certain textures of food or fabric or a certain scent. They might even be irritated by bright light. In order to know whether or not your child has sensory sensitivities against tactile sensations, movements, or sounds, make sure that you watch them carefully to notice if there’s something that bothers them. They’ll express how upset they are with their body language or they might even throw a tantrum, so make sure that nothing triggers these sensitivities to maintain their emotional stability.
Let Them Stim
Stimming, in and of itself, is merely a means for autistic individuals to process thoughts and emotions. Many people think that an autistic will only stim when in a stressful situation, but this is simply erroneous. Any overwhelming emotions or sensories can be difficult to process without self-stimulation, which is why you may find your child bouncing their leg repeatedly, hand flapping, pacing, or using any other repetitive method to stim. Stopping a child from stimming is harmful, and is unnatural to the autistic brain. However, if your child’s method is harmful, such as scratching their skin, you can redirect them to manage sensory overload by squeezing a stress ball.
With these methods, you’ll be able to improve your autistic child’s life. One key factor to help you make these methods succeed is patience and resilience. Your child may struggle while adapting to new changes, especially that they might already have adapted to a certain routine, but consistent effort will eventually help your autistic child assimilate and understand themselves better as they grow up.