Autism tends to affect 1 in 160 children worldwide. It refers to a diverse range of conditions, characterized by some degrees of impaired communication, language and social behavior, along with co-occurring conditions like epilepsy, according to an article by the World Health Organization (WHO). In fact, children with autism can also suffer from organizational and intellectual disabilities. So, besides medication and therapy, effective parenting should also include several support strategies. For example, a proper educational setting, incorporating ways to improve their thought processes and helping them interact with others clearly.
This will help them overcome daily challenges like social stigma and isolation. Proper care with utmost patience and understanding will also motivate the child to fully participate in their community. There would be fewer chances of them displaying aggressive behaviors too. So, if you wish to reap these benefits, here’s what you can do.
1. Professional Care
Consider hiring a compassionate and caring visiting nurse from an institution that can deliver patient centric home-based care to children with special needs, according to experts at Visiting Nurse Association Health Group (VNAHG). They will offer a well-balanced care and counseling plan, targeting specific outcomes. The nurse will work on specific issues faced by the child and help them improve self-confidence and independence. This can provide the best start to the child’s life and nurture them to be able to grow into independent adults.
2. Physical Recreation
Stereotypical hyperactivity in autistic children can be lowered with specific exercises. These include bear crawls, medicine ball slams, arm circles and star jumps to improve core strength, improve coordination and enhance motor planning, according to an article by Healthline. Therefore, no matter how fussy the child is, ensure at least 20 minutes of rigorous physical training each day.
3. Involve the Child
Make sure the little one accompanies you for grocery shopping or running little errands. This way, they will slowly get used to the world around them. The child will be less likely to get scared or shy away from communication or interaction with others in future.
4. Include Play Sessions Daily
Purely fun activities, beyond therapy or education, can help the child connect with you, respond well and open up better, according to an article by WebMD. Let them explore their surroundings, interact with other children and copy tones and facial expressions. Play peek-a-boo, dance around or blow bubbles. You can also take them to inclusive playgrounds to learn how to share and take turns.
5. Educate Your Friends
Your loved ones know that you are raising an autistic child. However, they might not be aware of the right behavior to display around them. Therefore, as a responsible parent, make sure to politely update them before every visit. For example, nobody should laugh at the non-verbal communications or get easily irritated with a slow child. They should also keep every conversation simple and easy to understand. Lastly, make sure whoever is interacting with the child is patient, respectful and loving.
Along with these, make friends with other parents with autistic children. Learn about different techniques and approaches they have adopted. Try out various alternatives and seek professional support to help the child reach their full potential.