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Ways to Support a Child with Autism in Everyday Life

by Tim

An autism diagnosis can be scary at first, but society’s understanding of autism is growing and evolving every day. More people are being diagnosed early, which is helping them to find their place in the world faster than before.

As a parent of a child with autism, it can be overwhelming trying to manage your child’s life while dealing with the different curveballs that are thrown your way. Read below for some advice on how to support a child with autism in everyday life.

Establish a Comfortable Routine

Many children with autism feel more comfortable and behave better when they have a familiar routine they can follow every day. Starting this kind of routine at a young age can help your child grow and develop in a more controlled environment. When a child with autism feels that they have control of their routine, then other daily problems are more manageable.

Approach Developmental Stages with Care

Every child is different when it comes to reaching milestones and that is even more important to remember when raising a child with autism. You should go into all developmental stages free of expectations and let your child develop at their own pace.

Reaching certain milestones like mastering autism potty training will feel like an even bigger success if there is no intense pressure to be at the same pace as other children. Your child is unique in their approach to life, so all of these developmental stages will look different for you than what some other parents tell you.

Communicate Clearly

Depending on your child’s level of speech and ability to communicate, you will need to adapt your own speech in order to communicate clearly with them. Many parents of children with autism learn sign language as some children have trouble developing speech or are completely non-verbal.

Making an effort to communicate clearly with your child will make all the difference when it comes to helping them in their daily life. The moment that you start to develop a rhythm of communication with your child, you will find that certain things will become easier for both you and your child.

Create a Sensory-Friendly Environment

Many children with autism have different sensory sensitivities and some places might be overwhelming for them. When you notice that your child is having a hard time somewhere, you should practice creating a sensory-friendly environment for them.

This may include always carrying noise-canceling headphones, always being ready to change plans if needed, and bringing tools like tablets that your child can use to communicate or distract themself in a stressful situation.

Above everything else, your home should always be a sensory-friendly environment. You want your child to always feel like they have a safe space in the home, whether that is their bedroom or a playroom in the house.

This will help them to take the time they need to center themselves and play on their own where they know they are safe and taken care of. Sensory-friendly environments may also include certain tools and toys to help them with stimulation exercises and regulating their emotions.

Create a Sensory-Friendly Environment

Fight for Individualized Education Plans in Your Child’s School

Entering school can be a stressful transition for many children with autism, so it is important to start them off on the right track by choosing a school specializing in individualized education or one that offers individualized classes while also integrating your child into the regular school day.

You may find that having the regular routine that a school day brings will be comforting to your child once they get used to it.

Your child’s education is just as important as that of any other child, so one of the best things you can do for them is fight for an individualized education plan. This kind of plan will cater to your child’s specific educational needs and will allow them to take classes with other kids like them.

It will also mean that they will have their own special teacher who they can talk to if they need anything throughout the day. Plans like this will help keep your child on track and allow them to thrive in a school environment.

Many families struggle to find ways to help their children keep up in school or find their place, so fighting for these kinds of individualized plans from the moment your child starts school is extremely important.

Find Community

When raising a child with autism, you can feel very isolated in your own experience, especially if you do not have any fellow parents around you who have a similar experience. After diagnosis, many parents find solace in the community with other parents of children with autism.

If you don’t know where to find these communities, try searching online for Facebook groups or blogs that are run by other local parents who share advice and meet up. Finding a community with other people who have a similar life experience will help you to feel less alone and can also bring your child joy by finding community in other children like them.

Many children with autism have special interests, so finding friends who share those special interests can completely change a child’s life. It can sometimes be very difficult to make friends at school or other social gatherings when you are living with autism and that can be very isolating for a lot of children.

By making the effort to reach out to groups online and in your community, you will be doing a service to yourself and your child.  

Find Community

Raising a child with autism is a life path that is taken one day at a time. There are many factors that go into daily life that must be considered and not everyone in the outside world is as accommodating to your child’s needs as you are.

One important thing to remember is that there is nothing wrong with your child and how they operate in the world, it is the society that has been built to only accommodate neurotypical people. As long as you do your best to create a safe environment for your child to grow and be happy, then you are doing the best you can as a parent of a child with autism.

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