Learning that your child has or may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may be a difficult experience for a parent. There will be many thoughts and worries about the future, as well as things you must do to ensure that your child does not suffer. While we recognise that receiving an ASD diagnosis can be difficult, advances in this field have come a long way, and even people who have been diagnosed with this illness can live a long and healthy life. Following are five methods shared by Hirak Patel, Counselling Psychologist, Fortis Hospital Mulund & Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi that any parent can assist a child who has been diagnosed with Autism.
Don’t Wait For A Final Diagnosis
If a child exhibits any signs of ASD or related developmental delays, it is best to begin therapy as soon as possible. Never wait for your child to catch up or grow out of a problem. A formal diagnosis is also not required. The earlier children with Autism start treatment, the better the outcomes. Early intervention is the most efficient and effective strategy to improve a child's development and lessen Autism symptoms over time.
Give Your Child Structure And Stability
Children with Autism need consistency in their life. Children with this illness frequently struggle to apply what they have learned in one setting (such as school or a therapist's office) to others, such as at home. A child, for example, may use sign language to communicate at school but not at home. As a result, providing consistency in the learning environment is critical since it will assist them to reinforce the same behaviour in all situations. An ideal approach to achieve this is to learn from the therapist what the child is being taught and then teach the same things at home or in different settings/locations. It is equally important for the parent to remain consistent in communicating with the child and dealing with problematic behaviours such as tantrums and bad behaviour.
Reward Good Behaviour
Positive reinforcement is vital for any child, but especially for children with ASD, so strive to reward everything they do properly. Praise them for good behaviour or for quickly learning a new skill. Giving them a sticker or allowing them to play with a favourite item are also good methods to encourage acceptable behaviour.
Be A Part Of A Support Group For Parents Who Have Children With AHD
Join a parent group that supports children with AHD if you haven't already. You will build vital connections that will assist you in dealing with the difficult aspects of raising a kid with this condition. Finding parents of children with your child's level of Autism is a fantastic idea so that you can share the experience together, where you can learn about anything new and get support for the difficult periods.
Pay Attention To Your Child’s Sensory Sensitivities
The majority of ASD children are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Some children are "over-sensitive" to sensory stimulation on the other end of the spectrum. It's critical to figure out what sights, noises, scents, motions, and tactile sensations cause your child's "poor" or disruptive behaviour. What circumstances cause them to behave appropriately? What causes your child stress, and what causes him to relax? When you understand what impacts your child, you'll be better able to foresee problems, avoid situations that cause problems, and create positive experiences for your child and family.
A Note To Parent, From The Expert
As a parent, it is vital that you take care of yourself and your health. Autism is a marathon, not a sprint; you owe it to yourself and your child to be full, healthy, and happy, so do whatever it takes. If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for support and, if necessary, consider therapy, which provides you with a secure environment to express yourself without hurting others.
Also Read: https://www.femina.in/wellness/health/understanding-autism-and-recognising-signs-for-timely-intervention-199464.html