Autism is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s language, behavior, and social skills in development. It occurs in early childhood. When the psychologist examine your child and told you that your child has autism, your heart may begin to pound.
As a parent, you just start thinking about your child’s future. Your all focus would be, Can my Autistic child become normal?
Apart from the medical care and therapies, there are many things parents can do to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder overcome their challenges.
But it is also important to make sure you get the helping support you need. When you are looking after an autistic child, taking care of yourself is also very important for your well being.
Help Your Autistic Child at Home
There are everyday autism strategies that make a difference and you would help your autistic child in a better way.
1. Learn about Autism
The more you have awareness more you can help your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions to make informed decisions for your child.
2. Become an Expert and Prevent Your Child from Stress
Try to focus and understand what triggers your child challenging or disruptive behaviors or positive response. Once you understand what makes your child frightening, calming, uncomfortable, enjoyable or stressful then you will be better at troubleshooting problems.
3. Focus on the Positive and Reward Good Behavior
Children with autism spectrum disorder often respond well to positive reinforcement like rewards and praise. That means when you admire their behavior, it will make them feel good and chances of occurrence of that desired behavior will be increased.
Praise their behavior specifically, so that they know exactly what you liked about their behavior. Try to catch them doing something good. Reward them for good behavior such as letting them play with their favorite toy.
4. Be Consistent and On Schedule
Make sure that what they have learnt from therapy, they practice them on time. This consistent guidance and interaction will make learning new skill and behavior easier. And they will be able to apply their knowledge in different conditions.
As a parent, you must have a regular meeting with their teacher and therapists to have a consistent set of techniques and methods of interaction with them.
Consistency is the key to reinforce the learned behavior. Children with ASD like highly structured schedule or routine. Set up a schedule for your child’s daily routine; school, therapy, play time, regular times for meal and bedtime.
5. Fun Filled Autism Activities
Engage your child in activities that seem pure fun. These kinds of activities may help your child open up and connect with you.
6. Stay Positive and Give it Time
You will try a lot of different approaches and techniques as you figured out what is best for your child. But do not get desperate if they do not respond to these techniques.
Stay positive and have patience while trying these different techniques.
7. Sensory Sensitivities
Many children with ASD are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell and some are under-sensitive to sensory stimuli. Figure out what sensations trigger your kid’s bad or disruptive behaviors and what elicit a positive response.
This will help you to understand what affects your child, and prevent difficulties causing situations.
8. Expose Them to the World around Them
You may feel like, it is not easy to take them to certain situations due to their unpredictable behavior. But it is recommended to take them on everyday errands to make them familiar with routine life.
9. Autism Parent Support Groups
Support groups, online or face to face autism parent support from other families and professionals can be a big help. This is a good way to get information and advice from other parents dealing with similar challenges.
10. Look into reprieve care
If there are people around you who can look after your child for a period of time to give you a short break. This is good for you to restore your own health.
Food: What to eat and what to avoid
Foods to Eat
Processed food has additives in it which are not good and may be problematic for Autism. It is best to prepare unprocessed food at home.
Broth of bone
Bone broth is rich in amino acids and minerals that can help and heal leaky gut and improve mineral deficiencies.
Poultry like organic turkey contains tryptophan, which can change brain development, neuro-immune activity and mitochondrial function.
Wild Caught fish
Wild caught fish is rich with Omega-3s. Researches have shown that supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids may improve hyperactivity, lethargy and repetitive behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders.
Food to Avoid
Some children with autism ASD have worsening symptoms after gluten consumption, which may indicate sensitivity. One of the most recent studies published in 2018 reveals gluten-free diet improved core features of autism spectrum disorder in children with autism after just three months.
The protein A1 casein is present in cow’s dairy, can trigger a similar reaction as gluten and, therefore, should be avoided in a dairy-free diet.
Avoid any forms of concentrated sugar because it can cause fluctuation in blood sugar leading to behavioral problems.
Create a Personalized Autism Treatment Plan for Your Child
Every child is unique and their needs may vary. So many different treatments are available but it is tough to figure out which approach is right for your child. You may hear different recommendations for teachers, parents, and therapist and this make things more complicated. And it becomes hard for you to decide what is better for your child?
Keep in mind that every person on the autism spectrum is unique with different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore no single treatment works for everyone.
Plan treatment for your child according to your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
National Institute of Mental Health has given basic characteristics of a good treatment plan;
- A good autism treatment plan will build on your child’s interest
- A good treatment will offer a predictable schedule for activities
- Breakdown tasks in simple steps and teach tasks as a series of simple steps
- Choose activities for autistic children which engage your child’s attention actively.
- Reinforce desired behaviors specifically regularly
- A good autism treatment plan will involve the parents
Every child, diagnosed with ASD, is unique, which is why treatment programs differ so greatly from person to person. Above all, the most important is diagnosis of the problem, because ASD symptoms are overlapped with other disruptive behavioral disorders.
So it is very crucial to have multiple expert opinions.