Tips for parents of the autistic child

Parenting is a difficult job and raising a child with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is more difficult. Every parent thinks about their child’s future, even more so if she/ he has an autistic spectrum disorder. But, what is autism?

ASD is an umbrella term that is related to the number of neurodevelopmental conditions. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s guidelines for diagnosis, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are three different disorders in the category of ASD:

  • Asperger syndrome
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorders

Autism is something that people are born with. No one knows exactly what causes it. It probably has something to do with genes of a child and other things that change the way the brain develops. Doctors typically diagnose autism in childhood. A kid with autism might have impaired communication, trouble in talking or learning the meaning of the words, getting social with others, dealing with bright lights, loud noise and crowd. Kids also might move in an unusual way or do the same thing over and over, like saying the same word.

Autism has no cure, but starting an early treatment can make a big difference. But apart from medical treatment and therapies, as a parent you can follow a few simple tips that can make a huge difference:

  • Stay consistent and on schedule: Make sure that your child gets consistent guidance and you regularly interact with your child. Practice what they learn from therapy at home. This can help them to learn new skills and help them apply their knowledge to different situations. Be in touch with their teachers and therapists regularly, and try to align on a consistent set of techniques and methods of interaction.
  • Focus on the positive: Children with autism spectrum disorder often respond well to positive reinforcement. You need to praise them if they’re doing well, it will make them and you feel good. They should know what exactly you liked about their behaviour. You can reward them with a small prize or with extra playtime.
  • Give time:  You should know what is best for your child.  Try techniques, treatments, and approaches because you know what is best for your child. Stay positive and do not get discouraged if they don’t respond well to a particular method.
  • Involve your child in everyday activities:  Autistic child’s behaviour is unpredictable. Involve them in everyday activities like grocery shopping. It will help them to get used to the world around them.
  • Have a fun time with them:  Have pure fun with your child. Do not always focus on their therapy or education. It may help you to connect more with your child.
  • Get Support: There are many support groups who can share advice and information, and meet other parents who are dealing with similar challenges.