For parenting an autistic child
Study up on autism
As your understanding of ADHD grows, you’ll be better able to advocate for your child. Learn as much as you can about your diagnosis and treatment options, and actively engage in your care.
Learn everything you can about your kid
Learn what causes your child’s difficult or disruptive conduct and what motivates them. Can you describe some of the things that make your kid anxious or scared? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? You will be more equipped to solve problems, prevent or adjust challenging situations, and help your child thrive if you take the time to learn about what affects him or her.
Embrace your child, flaws and all
Instead of dwelling on your autistic child’s perceived deficiencies, try adopting an attitude of acceptance of his or her unique strengths. Appreciate your child for who he or she is, rejoice in even the smallest of accomplishments, and avoid making unfair comparisons. Your youngster will benefit the most from learning to feel loved and accepted without condition.
Never give up!
The development of autism spectrum disorder cannot be anticipated. Don’t assume the worst about your kid’s future. Persons on the autism spectrum, like all humans, have the rest of their lives to learn and improve.
Contribute to the establishment of a secure environment
You can do a lot of good for your child if you educate yourself about autism and participate in his or her treatment. You and your autistic child will benefit from the following suggestions for navigating daily life at home:
Act in a consistent manner
Adapting skills learnt in one context (like a therapist’s office or a classroom) to another (like the home) can be challenging for children with ADHD. Maybe your kid uses sign language at school but you’ve never even considered trying it at home. A child’s learning will be most effectively reinforced if the environment in which he or she learns is consistent. Learn the strategies used by your child’s therapists so that you can replicate them at home. It may be helpful to have your child’s treatment sessions take place in several locations so that the skills taught in one setting can be applied in another. It’s also crucial to maintain a steady tone and approach when dealing with your child’s difficult conduct.
Regularity is the key
Children on the autism spectrum benefit greatly from a regimented schedule or routine. This is important because people need and want stability in their relationship. The best thing you can do for your child is to establish a schedule for him or her that includes regular hours for eating, therapy, schooling, and sleeping. Maintain as little interruption as possible in this routine. Make sure your kid is ready for the shift in routine in case it happens.
Incentivize positive actions
Attempting to “catch them doing something good” goes a long way toward assisting kids with ADHD, so do it! It’s important to be specific when praising good conduct or teaching a new skill to children. On the other hand, you may give them a sticker or let them play with a special item if they’ve been kind.
Establish a secure area inside your house
Provide your youngster with a quiet, safe, and comfortable area in the house to unwind in. This will require you to organise and establish limits in terms your child can grasp. Helpful visual signals (places off limits are marked with coloured tape, and graphical labels are attached to various household items). If your child has a history of tantrums or other forms of self-injury, you can also ensure safety of the house.
Establish rapport in methods other than talk
Communicating and bonding with a child who is autism does not require verbal exchanges or physical contact. You talk to your kid by looking at them, speaking to them in a certain way, and maybe even touching them. Even if your child never speaks a word to you, he or she is still speaking with you. You need only make an effort to get a working knowledge of the language.
Try to decipher the person’s body language
Learning to recognize autistic children’s nonverbal clues for communication requires a person who is attentive and perceptive. Learn to recognize the signs that they are hungry, fatigued, or want anything by listening to their sounds, watching their facial expressions, and observing their activities.
Get to the bottom of what’s causing the tantrum
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ADHD) are no different from any other group of children when it comes to the universality of the experience of being upset by being misunderstood or disregarded. The inability to understand the nonverbal clues of a child with autism spectrum disorder is a common source of behavioural problems. Their temper tantrum is an attempt to communicate their feelings and get your attention.
Laugh and enjoy life
Even if they are struggling with autism spectrum disorder, children are still children. Parents with autistic children require support outside of therapy, and vice versa. Plan active playtime for when your youngster is in a high state of alertness. Think about what makes your child happy, laugh, and open up, and use it as inspiration for some shared playtime activities. When things don’t look therapeutic or instructional, your kid is more likely to enjoy them. You and your child both gain greatly from the time you spend together just because you enjoy each other’s company. All children need to play, but it shouldn’t feel like effort for them to learn.
Consider your child’s psychological and emotional needs
Many kids with ADHD have extreme sensitivity to their surroundings. A subset of autistic youngsters can be “under-sensitive” to environmental cues. Learn the environmental signals (such as sights, sounds, odours, motions, and touches) that lead your child to behave badly and those that elicit a desired reply. What causes your kid anxiety? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? In order to help your child, it’s important to have a firm grasp of the factors that influence him or her.
Design an individualized treatment strategy for autism
Knowing which therapy option is best for your child can be challenging when there are so many to choose from. In addition, you may receive contradicting advice from your parents, school, and doctors.
Always bear in mind that there is no “magic bullet” treatment while devising a strategy for your child’s condition. Each individual on the autism spectrum has their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Your kid deserves care that’s specifically designed for them
As a parent, it is ultimately your responsibility to see that your kid’s needs are met. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my kid’s best qualities, and where do they fall short?
Where do the biggest issues originate from in terms of behaviour? Please tell me what my kid is missing out on in terms of crucial abilities.
Which of these three methods of instruction is most effective for my kid?
What are my child’s interests, and how might they be included into his or her therapy and education?
It’s important to note that you have a major role to play in the success of the treatment plan. Your child will benefit most from treatment if you collaborate actively with the medical provider and continue therapy at home. (This emphasises how important it is to prioritise your own health.)
Incorporating your child’s hobbies and passions into treatment is an important part of a successful treatment strategy.
Provide regular hours of operation
Make sure your students understand how to complete a task by breaking it down into manageable chunks.
· Use highly organised pursuits to capture your kid’s interest.
· Maintain a consistent schedule of positive reinforcement.
· Get the parents involved.
Look for resources and assistance
Time and effort are required in caring for a child with autism. The feelings of being unable to cope, tension, or discouragement are normal. Raising a child presents difficulties under normal circumstances, while special needs children provide even greater difficulties. Taking care of yourself will allow you to be a better parent.
Don’t try to take on the world by yourself
There’s no need for you to! Family members of children with autism spectrum disorder (ADHD) have access to a wide variety of resources for information, advocacy, and emotional and practical assistance.
Groups that provide emotional support for kids with ADHD
A family with a member who has autism spectrum disorder (ADHD) can benefit greatly from connecting with other families through participation in a support group. This is a great place for parents to connect with one another for advice, information, and emotional support. When a kid receives a devastating diagnosis, many parents feel completely alone, but just being with others in a similar situation and hearing their stories can help.
Care for those who need a break
Everyone needs a little time away from their kids every once in a while, especially parents. This is especially true for families dealing with the additional challenges that come with having a child with autism spectrum disorder. Respite care allows for a break for the primary caregiver, whether it be for a few hours or several weeks.
Counseling support for couples, families, and individuals
You might wish to see a therapist on your own if you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, worry, or sadness. All emotions, good, bad, and ugly, are welcome in therapy. The stresses of raising an autistic kid might put a strain on your marriage or family relationships, but couples or family counselling can help you work through those issues.
Identifying Appropriate Autism Treatments
Kids with ADHD can benefit from a wide range of therapeutic modalities, including behavioural treatment, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, rehabilitation services, and nutrition therapy.
It’s not necessary to choose between all of your child’s potential treatments at once, but it’s also not probable that you’ll be able to do so. Start by prioritising the most serious symptoms and requirements of your child.
Assisting children and families at a young age (birth through age two)
The Early Intervention programme provides services to infants and toddlers up to the age of two. Your kid needs to get evaluated for free to see if he or she is eligible. If the test reveals a developmental issue, you will work with early intervention therapy specialists to establish an individualized family service plan. Your child’s requirements and the assistance he or she will get are laid out in an Individualized Family Service Plan.
An individualised treatment plan (ITP) for autism would incorporate occupational, speech, play, and behavioural therapy. The program’s primary goal is to help autistic children adjust to the demands of formal education. In most cases, children get early intervention services in their own homes or at designated childcare facilities.
Inquire with your child’s paediatrician about referrals to local early intervention agencies, or check out the links provided in the article’s Resources section for more options.
Aid for students with special needs in the classroom (age three and older)
Children older than three are served by academically-focused initiatives. Both early intervention and special education services are individualised for your child. In order to provide the individualised attention and specific education that children with autism need, they are often integrated into small groups with other children who also have developmental delays. Still, some students with special needs may be able to benefit from spending at least some of their school day with their peers in a general education classroom. It is desired to place children in the “least restrictive environment” where they can still study.
Your child will need to be evaluated by your school district’s special education department before you can request help. An IEP (Individualized Education Program) is created based on the results of this evaluation. Your child’s yearly academic objectives might be laid out in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The plan also details the additional assistance your child will get from the school.
Being autistic parent and caring for a child with autism
Some autistic traits appear to be inherited, according to studies. In spite of this, many parents learn they themselves are autistic only after seeking out information and an official diagnosis for their own child. Raising neurodiverse children can be difficult for any parent, but it can be more difficult if you are autistic. Here are some suggestions that could be useful:
Keep your true self out in the open
Expose your youngster to the genuine you. Don’t feel that you have to hide your weird habits from your child, whether they be rituals or tics. The best way to help your autistic child open up to you and form a bond with you is to simply be yourself around them. If your child is on the autism spectrum, you may want to have a conversation with them about the possible reactions of neurotypical people to their conduct and how to respond to rejection. Strive to give young people the kind of advice you wished you’d had when you were younger.
Always keep your own needs in mind
Being a parent is difficult if you have sensory processing issues or need a highly regulated routine. If you’re easily upset by loud noises, a baby’s cries may be particularly trying. Sudden outbursts from your child might make it difficult to maintain a routine, which can add to your stress levels. You should develop strategies to deal with stressful events so that you may maintain your own feeling of well-being.
In the event that you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s always a good idea to reach out for help. A parenting mentor or other parents with autism may be able to assist you figure out ways to overcome obstacles, such as talking with medical professionals and educators.
Focus on what you do well
You, like everyone else, have some skills that set you apart. Think about how you can best provide for your child by making use of your unique set of skills and experiences. Are you particularly good at visual problem solving or design? Make your own informative posters to help your kid learn. Can you keep your mind on a single task for hours? Put that energy on learning effective methods of parenting and dealing with difficult situations. Is fixing issues something you excel at? Get creative and think outside the box to solve problems at home.
Don’t put undue pressure on yourself or your kid
Don’t be so stubborn as to deny the fact that you and your partner still have time to develop as people. There is a possibility that you will face difficulties. Maybe you become angry and then feel bad about yourself. Perhaps it’s a struggle for your kid to make friends at school. Make up your mind to take something away from a negative event and use it to your advantage. Recognize each other’s development when it occurs. Praising your child and acknowledging your own accomplishments are also great ways to bond.
These Books on Parenting might help you more in general.