Ways You Can Help “The Kids.”
If you’re not a parent, you may not know that there is an autism epidemic in children. One in 68 kids has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and this number keeps growing every year. With numbers like these, it’s hard to feel like we can make any difference as individuals. But there are many ways that we can help “the kids.”
Give them a sense of independence.
Allow them to work at their own pace, especially when learning something new or challenging. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from teachers or other parents if you are concerned about your child being overwhelmed in school. Encourage kids with autism who have trouble expressing themselves verbally by giving them more time to answer. Do not interrupt while they are talking, but if you think that what they are saying is incorrect or confusing, ask the teacher for suggestions on how to handle this situation in class.
Give kids with autism opportunities to experience success by offering multiple chances at new things until it feels comfortable and familiar enough for them to be successful. Avoid using negative words like “can’t, won’t, or doesn’t know how to.
Change phrases such as “He can’t do it” to “I don’t think he’s ready for this.” and avoid telling kids that they shouldn’t be upset by saying things like “It’s not that big of a deal.”
Give these kids opportunities to make choices. This will help them feel more in control and increase their sense of independence, too! Don’t do everything for your child with autism; instead, allow them to find things out independently by taking small risks now and then.
Get to know the child and their interests.
Be your child’s cheerleader. Encourage good listening skills by only talking when the parent is not in sight. Take time to know what they want to do. It could be anything and will be based on their surroundings. Examples of these interests are building blocks, coloring books, or playing on the iPad.
You can also get your child to engage in outdoor activities like basketball or even hunting. However, ensure their safety by buying them a portable stand to enable them to stay on a tree and easily see their target. This stand offers them a great hunting view. With it, they can reduce the number of times they miss when they glimpse a good game.
Identify what is social and not so they can learn to interact with others during playtime. They will imitate your behavior when around them, so your child needs to act appropriately in these situations. Teach children how to resolve conflicts through games like “Simon Says,” where one child is Simon, and the rest follow his orders.
Introduce them to others in a safe environment, such as through playdates or at school with experienced teachers with children with autism. Having friends will help them overcome their fears of socializing by seeing that they can be accepted into society and have fun doing it!
Help with transitions by giving clear instructions and helping your child get organized.
Help with transitions by giving clear instructions and helping your child get organized. Don’t put the burden of social interaction on them, even if they seem to want it. Remember that every kid is different—and just because one seems uninterested in talking doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in interacting at all!
Don’t put the burden of social interaction on them, even if they seem to want it. Remember that every kid is different—and just because one seems uninterested in talking doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in interacting at all! Don’t scold children for things socially acceptable with other kids: flapping their hands or jumping up and down, for example.
Don’t scold children for things socially acceptable with other kids: flapping their hands or jumping up and down, for example. Keep them safe! Make sure your child’s classroom has appropriate sensory toys available—and ones that can be easily cleaned between students as well (such as a plastic ball filled with cat litter).
Be flexible in your expectations for behavior.
- Allow them to do things at their own pace.
- Let them get away with things that other kids don’t, and expect less of them in general. Stay calm when your child gets upset.
- Avoid emotional outbursts where you’re yelling or crying yourself because it will just make the situation worse for everyone involved.
- Use clear directions to communicate what’s expected of your child at all times.
- Autism often makes it hard for kids to pick up on things communicated more subtly, so you need to be clear about what they’re supposed to do.
- Please don’t assume your child is being deliberately disobedient or trying to get attention when he’s having a meltdown.
- Autistic children typically don’t understand social cues and may not know they’re causing a problem.
- Keep routines and schedules as consistent as possible – if they know what to expect from one day to the next will help them feel more secure in their environment.
- Teach your child how to manage his behavior if he has meltdowns or tantrums when things don’t go according to routine – this way, you can avoid