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Autism and its Outlook – How to Care for an Autistic Child
Autism is a complex neuro-psychological condition that has an impact on a child’s social, behavioural, communication & language skills. In other words, a child with autism faces challenges or struggle in these parameters.
I thought of writing this blog because whenever I come across a parent who has an autistic child I realise that people are either not aware of what to do, don’t have an understanding of what autism is or how to deal with it or either don’t have acceptance of it.
I feel the earlier you start to work on the child, the better it is because positivity and hard work goes a long way. Raising an autistic child is not easy; it requires constant effort, positivity and patience from the parents’ side.
Treatment of Autism
Treatment of Autism depends on individual needs and vary from person to person. However, some treatments recommended are:
- Therapies like Occupational, Behavioural, Speech Therapies etc.
- Dietary and medical intervention in some cases.
- Some recommend complementary therapies like music, colour and physical activities.
These are therapies which are taken by professional therapists. However, there is a lot what can be done at home as the child stays with the parent for the longest and, as said parents, are the first teachers for their children.
Here are some tips for parents to care for their autistic child:
1. First and most important is being positive and consistent when dealing with day to day issues and repeatedly guiding the child. It is essential for parents to be positive and have patience because it takes time for a child to understand and implement what has been said.
2. Talk to the child as much as you can. Start with questioning him and telling the answers as well because it would take time for a child to understand what you are asking.
3. Give verbal hints or probe to make the child understand and speak because we need to give the words first, and then meaning and sentences.
4. Flashcards, picture cards, and even videos could be of great use to make the child understand and relate better, as kids are very good at audiovisual learning.
5. Set a routine for the child, like bathing time, mealtime, sleeping time etc. You need to prepare the child well in advance if there would be a change in the routine.
6. Avoid sugar, as it increases activity levels. Instead, channelise the child’s energy level with physical activities like swimming, skating, cycling. Even something as simple as taking the child for a walk would help.
7. Reward and appreciate the child for the work, so that he is motivated to do good work and listen to you.
These are a few tips to help parents care for autistic children better!