Tips for Parenting and Supporting a Child With Autism
Growing up with autism isn’t easy. Kids who have trouble communicating, understanding the world around them, or playing with neurotypical children face a wide range of obstacles as they navigate their childhood years. At the same time, parents who are tuned in to the needs of their children can help their kids develop their strengths and abilities while minimizing the challenging aspects of their disorder.
If you have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you probably spend a lot of time thinking about how you can best support them. Here are some tips from Autism Vision of Colorado to try with your own family!
Find a Therapist for Your Child
Many types of therapies are available for children with autism. Among these, behavioral therapies have shown great efficacy in treating symptoms of ASD by encouraging desired behaviors and discouraging undesired behaviors. As a result of regular therapy, many children with ASD are able to learn important social skills and gain confidence in their interactions with others.
Therapy can also help children who experience stress and anxiety, which is a common struggle for those who have autism. Online therapy is an excellent alternative to expensive in-person sessions. Plus, it’s very convenient for busy families. The best therapy options online will provide a variety of licensed professionals to choose from and offer affordable rates that fit your budget. Many online therapists offer a complimentary consultation to ensure you find the right fit.
Research and Watch for Comorbid Conditions
A comorbid condition is one that tends to occur at the same time as another. According to Autism Canada, people with ASD are more likely to suffer from several other conditions compared to the general population. Some of these common co-occurring conditions include autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, and migraine headaches. Watch out for signs that your child may be struggling with other conditions so you can seek treatment.
Be Mindful of Your Child’s Sensory Sensitivities
Another benefit of being attentive to your children’s condition is understanding your child’s sensory sensitivities. Many people with autism are sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures that can make daily life feel overwhelming. Knowing your child’s sensory issues will enable you to help them avoid sensory overload and modify their home environment so they feel comfortable and at ease.
Create a Calming Home Environment
To your child, your home should feel like a safe respite from a fast-paced world. Creating a calming home environment is a great way to relieve stress for you and your child. Moms.com suggests learning about the importance of schedules, routines, and organization to someone with ASD. Declutter and organize your home so your child feels in control of the space. Aim to create a healthy atmosphere with soft lighting and soothing sounds. And consider adding some indoor plants to reduce household stress levels and improve the quality of your indoor air.
Stick to a Regular Schedule
Creating a consistent daily routine is one of the best things you can do for your child. A routine will reduce stress for both of you—you won’t have to make so many draining decisions every day and your child will know what to expect so they can feel a sense of ownership over their activities. This will make life much easier for your household.
Creating a routine starts with identifying tasks your child needs to complete every day, like brushing their teeth. Designate a time for each task and lay out your daily schedule on a visually-appealing chart. For example, you could include fun drawings or photos of your child performing each task!
Parents play a significant role in the quality of life of children with autism. Learn how you can engage in parenting practices that best support your child. From finding a great therapist to redesigning your home, everything you do for your child will help them thrive!
Carrie Spencer blogs at thespencersadventures.net. Are you looking for more autism-friendly content like this? Check out the Autism Vision of Colorado website for articles, resources, and local events for you and your family!