At Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting in Shelton, CT, and Fairfield County, we believe early diagnosis and intervention are key. We have over 20 years of experience treating children with autism and supporting their families, and a team with Masters- and Doctoral-level expertise. Call (203) 900-4720 if you’re interested in our individualized care, and read on for tips on raising children with autism.
How Can I Provide My Autistic Child With Structure And Safety?
- Create a schedule. Children with ASD do well with routine or a high-structured schedule. Regular, consistent time for meals, hygiene practices, school, therapy, and bedtime can help greatly with the consistency they both crave and need. You can also help your child by preparing them in advance for breaks or changes in their routine.
- Apply consistency. Learn about the techniques your child’s therapist uses and apply them at home, for example. Children with ASD sometimes experience difficulty applying what they learn in multiple settings. With consistency, you can reinforce lessons learned with your child in multiple settings.
- Give rewards for appropriate behavior. When your child acts appropriately or learns a new skill, reward them by being specific with your praise to encourage them.
How Can I Become An Expert On My Child?
- Learn your child’s nonverbal cues. If you pay attention, you can learn and associate the expressions, sounds, and gestures your child makes with their various feelings, such as when they’re tired or hungry.
- Discover what triggers a negative or positive response from your child. If you learn what makes your child feel calm or happy, or stressed or frightened, you can prevent or modify any situations that may cause some difficulty.
- Approach tantrums with understanding. If your child feels as though their nonverbal cues are not being recognized, they may throw a tantrum as a way to get your attention.
What Are Parenting Styles To Avoid Children with Autism?
- Avoid “do whatever you want” parenting. This might create behaviors and habits that will cause more issues later on in life. If they are asked or encouraged to do so, children with autism can be more responsive.
- Do not overbook your child. There is no need for a child with autism to have so many hours of back-to-back schooling and therapy that they do not have enough time for rest, social interaction, or, most importantly, play. With too much to learn, children do not have time to practice and benefit from new lessons.
- Avoid hands-off parenting. Children with autism benefit from focused, regular parental support and engagement to actively learn about the world.
- Do not over prompt. You can support your child with autism without hovering over them and intervening in every instance. This would deny your child the valuable opportunity of learning and growing from experience. You can feel comfortable letting your child learn from direct instruction and doing.
- Avoid competitive and perfectionist parenting. It is unhealthy to put a disproportionate amount of pressure on both your child and you as a parent. Practice acceptance, and celebrate your child’s successes, no matter how small. Unconditional love and the feeling of acceptance would help your child more than anything else.