If you’ve just been told that your child has or possibly has autism spectrum disorder, you might be concerned about what happens next. No parent ever wants to hear that their child is anything other than healthy and happy, and a diagnosis of autism can be particularly scary. You may be worried about how you can best look after your child, or you might be confused by the conflicting advice you’re receiving. Or maybe you’re worried about how your child will cope as they get older. Don’t worry, as there are lots of ways you can help your child.
While people can’t overcome ASD, there are lots of different treatment options available that can help your child gain new skills and overcome some of the developmental challenges they may face. From in home therapy to free government services, supplements for autism, and school-based programs, assistance is available for your child that will help them grow, learn and thrive in life.
If your child is growing up with ASD and you are caring for them, it’s important to remember that you need to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself too. If you are healthy and strong, you will be able to be the best parent you can be. There are a number of things you can do to help your child with autism overcome challenges. Below are some of our top parenting tips, treatments and services that are available to help you:
1. Don’t Wait for a Diagnosis
The best thing you can do for a child who is suspected to be on the autistic spectrum is to start treatment as soon as possible. Don’t leave it too late, as your child will have to catch up with their peers. It has been shown that the earlier children get help with their autism, the better their chance of success. Early intervention is key. If your child has autism:
Learn about it – the more information you know, the more equipped you’ll be when it comes to making important decisions.
Invest time learning about your child – spend time finding out what causes your child's challenging behavior and what causes a positive reaction. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to deal with a problem as it arises.
Accept that your child has ASD – Instead of looking at how your child is different, accept the differences and embrace them. Showing your child unconditional love and acceptance will help them more than anything else.
Don’t give up – no one can predict how a child with autism will change over time. Don’t automatically think the worst. Like everyone else, your child has their whole life to grow and learn.
2. Provide Structure and Safety
Getting as much information as possible and being involved in your child's treatment will help your child. These things can also help a child with ASD:
Remain consistent – children with ASD may struggle applying what they’ve learnt in one setting in another. Creating a consistent environment can help reinforce learning. If your child sees a therapist, then find out what techniques and activities they are using and repeat some of these at home. This will encourage your child to use the skills they’ve learnt in other environments.
Have a schedule – Autistic children tend to respond well to a . This is because they like consistency. Try setting up a routine for your child with time for meals, the time to take any nutritional supplements for autism, time for therapy, school times and bedtimes. This will help your child feel safe and secure.
Praise your child when they show good behavior – positive reinforcement can mean a lot to any child, but it often means a lot more to a child on the autistic spectrum. Praise them when they do something good. You could even set up a sticker chart.
3. Create a Treatment Plan
With so much conflicting advice, it can be hard to work out which approach will work best for your child. Should you introduce some natural supplements for autism? Or maybe you should consider getting in touch with a therapist for some professional advice?
When designing a treatment plan for your child, you should remember that different plans will work for different children. A good treatment plan will:
Provide a schedule
Build on your child’s interests
Teach things in stages
Provide highly structured activities that engage your child’s attention
Provide regular praise
Remember, you know your child best, and their treatment should be tailored to suit them. You should ask yourself these questions:
What behavior is causing the most problems?
What are your child’s strengths?
How does your child learn the best?
What does your child enjoy?
Lastly, whatever treatment plan you choose, you should remember that your participation is vital to its success. You need to work hand-in-hand with the treatment team and follow any advice they give you at home.
4. Choosing the Right Treatment
When it comes to treating children with autism, there are numerous therapies, approaches and medications available to help. With so many options available to you, it’s a good idea to do some research first. Whether you decide to take the therapy route or look into getting some advice on the best supplements for autism, or the best vitamins for autism, is up to you. Nutritionists and Autism Parenting Magazine recommend . The Autism Parenting Magazine is a great resource that provides lots of advice and information about autism. From learning about the best vitamins to keep autistic children healthy, to informing you about special educational opportunities, there’s something for everyone, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
The most common autism treatments include speech and language therapy, behavior therapy, physical therapy, play based therapy, occupational therapy and nutritional therapy. Many parents find that children with autism struggle when it comes to mealtimes. This is why many practitioners advise parents to give children supplements in order to keep them healthy.
Any treatment given to children needs to be designed in a way that can be sustained. You need to think about what behaviors and skills are essential and work towards treating them first. It’s usually not possible to tackle all areas at once.
Looking after a child who has ASD can demand a lot of time and energy. At times you may feel stressed, overwhelmed or discouraged. Parenting isn’t always easy, and raising a child with special needs can be even more difficult. In order to support your child, you need to make sure that you’re looking after yourself too. Try and get some support from others as you don’t have to go through this process on your own. There are lots of places you can turn to for advice and support, including support groups, your doctor, online, respite care or a therapist. Also, there are lots of things you can do to help your child with autism spectrum disorder get over any obstacles they may face. Follow some of these parenting tips above and you’ll be well on your way to a happy and healthy life with your child.