One of the most devastating moments in the life of a parent is to know that their child is autistic. You might feel that your whole world is falling apart and there is nothing you can do about it. But before you sink into your feelings of depression you will have top realize that a big responsibility has been bestowed upon you.
It is the responsibility of the parents to care for their children till they grow up. But you have an added responsibility of being there for your child for a lifetime. It sure must be very disappointing to accept the fact that your child might not grow up like normal people. But you can make sure that your child leads a normal and independent life by grooming your child the right way.
An autistic child is incapable of communicating well and developing interpersonal skills. It does not mean that an autistic child’s brain does not develop. Its just that they might not get familiar with things around them as fast an as a normal child.
Impaired communication skills, repetitive and restricted behavior etc. are few traits displayed by an autistic child. No permanent cure has been devised for autism as of now. But you can choose from vast number of therapies to help your child cope with this condition. Here are a list of tips and methods to deal with your autistic child.
Accept The Fact
It might be the most difficult time of your life but you will have to move on for the sake of your child. Your child is a part of your life and is entirely dependent on you and deep inside your child does expect your support and love. So you will have to get over your feelings of anxiety and depression and help your child deal with his/her condition.
Cursing yourself or blaming yourself for the fate and destiny of your child will not help you in any way. It might only lower your self-confidence and make matters worse. Nobody in this world is flawless and likewise your child has some flaws. Learn to accept your child with his/her flaws and perform your deeds and responsibilities selflessly.
It is very important that you gather plenty of information about autism. Meet your doctor, surf various related websites, read plenty of books and educate yourself. It is very important that you know every bit about autism and how it is gonna effect your child’s life.
The degree of autism varies form person to person and it is very important that you know where your child stands. Most autistic people are known to develop some skill at which they usually excel. Discover any such skill of that sort, if any, in your child and encourage him/her to work towards his/her interests. So do your homework about autism to help you child better.
Set A Routine
You will have to make efforts and set a particular routine for your autistic child. Set fixed timings for sleeping, eating, going to school etc. This will regulate their life and even they will get used to the same. It might take a while but they will get so used to this routine that they might start following it themselves.
Ensure that you stick to your routine and do not make much changes in it as any sort of alteration can confuse an autistic child. If you have no choice but to make some changes in your child’s routine then prepare your child for the change by constantly reminding your child of the change by any means of communication he/she is comfortable with.
Art Of Communication
It sure is difficult to teach an autistic child to communicate effectively but it certainly is not impossible. Autistic children do not learn by experience as they forget things fast. You can try using crafts, colors and charts to teach them. For instance, using charts displaying human pictures showing various emotions works wonders for helping them learn all about human expressions.
Likewise, using models of alphabets helps them learn letters and words. Over a period of time your child will learn the art of communication. Make sure that you maintain eye contact with the child while trying to teach them and also maintain a calm and composed front.
Treat Your Child Normally
Some parents end up feeling too bad about their child and shower all their love and affection towards them. Every parent in this world loves their child selflessly. But it is very important to maintain a balance between love and discipline. If necessary, do scold your child. The reaction of an autistic child towards harsh behavior from parents will be just as same as that of normal children.
Your child might not talk, eat and might confine to himself/herself. But like normal children, they will be alright after sometime. Your child must know his/her limits and they should also know that their tantrums will not be tolerated all the time. Treating your child normally will help him/her become more independent in later stages of his/her life.
Reward For Good Behavior
As important it is to induce the qualities of discipline in your child, it is just as important to reward your child. Rewarding your child when it does something good, makes your child realize that the deed that he/she has performed is good. This way they will learn to differentiate between good deeds and bad deeds. However, do not go out of your way to reward your child to avoid spoiling your child. But always remember that appreciation and rewards play a very vital role in the development of autistic children also.
Seek Medical Assistance
A vast variety of treatment options are available for children suffering from autism. The degree of autism might vary from person to person and based on the severity of the condition your doctor will suggest treatment for your child. Behavioral therapies help a great deal in most cases. Some medication and drugs also help suppress the symptoms of autism. Regular visits to your doctor are a must as that will help you gauge your child’s condition. Make sure that you follow these tips for parenting a child with autism.
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