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Children with autism spectrum disorder will grow with help at home

Daniel Cross Pediatric Physical Therapist A Step Ahead Pediatric Therapy
Children with autism spectrum disorder will grow with help at home

Finding out that your child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s can be a very overwhelming experience and can put stress on your family. There is a sense of panic that consumes you as all the dreams and expectations you had for your child seem to disappear. Don’t give up hope. Your child can still achieve goals and expectations with a little bit of work, consistency, and help from doctors and professionals. There are many things that you can implement at home that will help your child progress and achieve their goals.


Do

Do keep expectations simple and consistent

Children of all ages do better when they know the rules and what is expected of them at certain times or situations. Don’t over explain things because they will get lost in the explanation. Parents need to communicate clearly to each other as well, so their explanations to their young ones can be consistent between each other.

Do use the same language every time

By using the same type of language every time you speak with your child the same words will mean the same thing from both parents. Again, children will understand what those words mean and respond better when they hear the same language repeatedly.

Do develop a portable routine using cue cards

Not all children, especially those on the autism-spectrum, are auditory learners. By seeing the schedule on paper or cue cards they will know what is coming next so transitions are not so sudden. Younger children do not have the concept of time, so the picture serves as their clock.

Do your homework from your professionals

You seek out professional help and these people will want to help your child. Follow your sensory diet, complete the tasks that are asked, because we know that life happens, but consistency, practice, and follow through helps everyone, not just the child.

Do listen with your eyes and ears

Our children are full of information, and when we sit back and watch them and their behaviors, it can give us clues into what they like and don’t like as well as what they feel they need to develop in this world. By watching with both your ears and eyes, you can really get a good sense of what the child is receiving from their perspective.


Don't

Do not set the bar so high they can’t achieve it

We all want our child to do their best. If they are working hard and achieving their best and its not to the parents expectation, maybe we are the ones who need to change. We should set goals and expectations so we are all working toward a common goal, but let’s make sure the child can reach it and feel proud instead of discouraged because they didn’t reach that goal. It is better to achieve 5 small goals than miss the large one.

Do not make sudden changes to the routine

This is unavoidable, but by having a sensory diet, having the schedule and using simple commands, you can reduce the anxiety that the child could experience with a dramatically sudden schedule change.

Do not allow poor behaviors to occur just because they have a diagnosis

Children on the spectrum can still behave, the parent has to set the expectation of the behavior, be consistent in the expectation and give the child the support they need to behave. If the child still acts out they do need to learn that poor behavior has consequences because it will in the real world as well.

Do not stop exposing them to the world

Children need exposure to the real world because it is how we all learn. It is positive reinforcement that the child can have a great experience and want to do it again. Don’t hide them away from the world, they are a gift that should be shared.

Do not think all hope is lost

Your child can still achieve great things. They might be different than what you originally had envisioned for your child. We all have hopes and dreams for our children, and when a diagnosis or an injury changes that dream, we can become depressed or down. Search and learn and set new hopes and dreams for your child. These dreams may be different from before, but the child knows no different and all they want is love and joy from their parents.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

Every child progresses at different rates and has different interests. Be patient with your child and celebrate the small achievements. As a parent, join an autism parenting group where you can meet other people who have children with autism spectrum disorders. These people have gone through your same experiences and can offer great peer advice. You can also always speak with your physician about options for your child.


More expert advice about Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

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Daniel CrossPediatric Physical Therapist

A recognized leader in pediatric rehabilitation, Daniel Cross delivers a positive, therapeutic experience through expertise, flexibility and patient centered care at A Step Ahead Pediatric Therapy. As president and managing therapist at A Step A...

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