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How to deal with autistic children

According to an estimate, 1 in 110 children in the United States has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Knowing that your child is one among the lot can be challenging, demanding precise proficiency to lead a normal life. Here are few tips to deal with autism.

Use art as a bridge for communication

Art can provide an able tutor for the autistic children. Many inspirational testimonials suggest that art can deliver encouraging results in this area. Creative art can help autistic children communicate feelings, which otherwise may be difficult to express. Their difficulty in verbal expression finds a safe haven in art, which bridges their world with the common man’s. However, study points that what works for one autistic child essentially does not work for another.

Autism can manifest itself in many ways. Some autistic children have difficulty in talking. Others can be fluent in communication but cannot handle ordinary social situations. Associating words to pictures can be easier for them. Line drawings may be difficult to interpret, but real objects and images can work better. Provide innovative techniques to communicate. Using colors to depict moods can be a good way to resist bad behaviors. Creativity can serve an effective tool when dealing with autism.

Discourage unsupportive gestures, particularly in public

When dealing with autistic children, public tantrums can be inevitable. Embarrassment, sudden aggression and discomfort are a part of their training sessions. When dealing with such situations, try to be as comfortable as possible. Avoid staring, shouting and other unhelpful gestures.

Supervise children in doing ordinary tasks like visiting a public bathroom. Many children find it difficult to visit the bathroom on their own. Do not disapprove and show anger. An outdoor lunch may find too many disruptions, hardly leaving scope for peaceful dining. Make your child comfortable enough so that he/she does not interrupt dining. A sudden hug may emerge out from nowhere to surprise you. Instead of rejecting or avoiding the child, try diverting attention (like asking his/her name). Some children may run around, which can be dangerous. Avoid too much honking. Disrupting prayers and offerings can also come spontaneously from autistic children. Be calm and proactive. Parents can inform the worship leader about their child’s disability and special needs.

Good teachings can serve inspiration

Good teachings can provide a strong platform for achieving success. Owing to the specific requirements of autistic children, train them to utilize skills in a better and more productive manner.

Children can find long strings of verbal communication difficult to interpret. The sequence can be hard to memorize; writing the instructions is a better way of communication. Number concepts can be given with concrete visual methods. A maths toy, having different colors for numbers one through ten, can help learn numbers. Fractions can be taught using wooden shapes (like an apple cut into four pieces). Prefer pictures to words in learning. Some autistic children respond better if they are interacted with while swinging. The sensory aspect in swinging can help improve speech. However, it must not be forcibly implemented.

Autistic children can be good at areas like drawing, art and computer programming. It is important to identify and encourage the appropriate areas to hone their talents. These can serve a platform for employment sustainability later when they grow up.

Bringing together autistic and non-autistic children

Handling an autistic child seems more challenging when you have another who is non-autistic. You need to concentrate on individual child’s ability and provide training accordingly. It can be too impractical finding a perfect solution for treating each child.

Get updates on the latest inventions in the subject to hone your skills. Establishing a routine of reading the bedtime story, with children following the book, can be helpful. Educate your child that autism can be one of the many forms of life in their pathway. Adopt a fair and judgmental attitude to prevent sibling rivalry and resentment.

Avoid showing extraordinary attention to the autistic child, and paying less attention to the ‘normal’ one. This can create loneliness, neglect and jealousy in the ‘normal’ child, leading to sibling rivalry. Discipline each child according to a common parameter. The ‘normal’ child must not receive a harsher training compared to his/her autistic counterpart. Provide vivid evidence in parenting and child care regime to minimize the possibility of resentment. Reward each child according to his/her appreciation level. For a ‘normal’ child, money can serve a tempting reward. For an autistic child, being rewarded a belt (which can be twirled around with changing shapes) can serve better.

Discipline is an important element

Autistic children are not incapable to understand, owing to their disability. They deserve specific interplay to derive it meaningfully. By identifying the interface, you can guide them to achieve the correct goal. Disciplining is an important component to consider here.

Many parents find reluctance in disciplining their autistic child. Their bad behavior is attributed to their disability, which is not always the case. Generally, frustration arising out of non-communication is regarded the prime cause of their bad behavior. Although there may be rejection to disciplining, you need to be firm and consistent with your efforts.

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