parenting a child with ASD

December 19th, 2023

 

Autism spectrum is a neurodevelopmental disorder with complex genetic components that are influenced by the environment. Defects in communication skills limitations in interests, and repetitive behaviors are clear signs of this disorder that appear in the early stages of a child's development. Since children with autism spectrum disorders are prone to co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, phobias, depression, etc., parents play a vital role in controlling or reducing these disorders. Just as the types of parenting in non-autistic children can affect the emotional development and mental health of children, the way parents interact with autistic children is also very effective in reducing or improving the symptoms of this disorder or suffering from concurrent disorders. Indeed, parenting a child with autism requires a nuanced approach that includes understanding their distinct needs and providing personalized support to help them navigate a world that may present unique challenges. In this bio, I will discuss some effective strategies for supporting children with ASD:

 

  1. Customized Support: Each child with autism is distinct, owning their strengths and challenges. Adapt your support according to their individual needs, preferences, and abilities. Many autistic children exhibit remarkable talents like music or drawing, which thrive with the encouragement of their families. Discovering and nurturing these talents not only helps alleviate anxiety but also addresses certain autism symptoms linked to anxiety.
  2. Establishing Stability: A structured and predictable environment is highly beneficial for children with autism. Having fixed schedules fosters stability and decreases anxiety. Sudden changes or unpredictable plans not only catch these children off guard but can also provoke anxiety, leading to aggression, and impatience, and potentially exacerbating certain autism-related symptoms.
  3. Effective Communication: Interacting with children with autism requires a different approach. To effectively communicate, parents can use clear, concise language and explore alternative methods like pictures or gestures. Building a close and effective communication style, both with autistic and non-autistic children, cultivates a sense of security, and peace, and ultimately boosts their self-confidence.
  4. Encouraging Development: Embrace and nurture your child's passions and interests. When parents support these interests, children are more likely to uncover their abilities, feel empowered, and take control of their environment, resulting in reduced anxiety levels. Use positive reinforcement methods like praise, rewards, or token systems to motivate desired behaviours in autistic children. Celebrating even small achievements can be incredibly motivating.
  5.  Nurturing Understanding: Being patient and adaptable is crucial in parenting, especially with autistic children. They often require more time and support to acclimate and understand their surroundings compared to non-autistic children. Patient parents not only find joy in supporting their children through this journey but also help their children become more capable and experience reduced anxiety symptoms in the long run.
  6. Managing Sensory Sensitivities: Autistic children have sensory sensitivities that cause them harm. Adjust the environment by minimizing sensory stimuli such as loud noises or bright lights to create a more comfortable space. Be careful of the autistic child's reactions in crowded parties or shopping malls with intense lighting. If you notice that he shows more symptoms or becomes angry, immediately either facilitate the situation or leave the place.
  7. Promoting Independence: Help your child develop life skills gradually, breaking tasks into manageable steps and offering guidance as they learn to do things independently.
  8. Parental Well-being: Acknowledge the demands of parenting a child with autism and prioritize self-care. Seeking support when needed and taking breaks are crucial for maintaining well-being.

 

Parenting children with autism can significantly impact the severity of autism symptoms. Informed and proactive parents can effectively manage external factors, playing a crucial role in helping control their child's condition and shaping a brighter future for them.

Zahra Sartipi
M.A., RCC
Zahra Sartipi
666 Burrard St#500, Vancouver,BC, Vancouver, V6C 3P6

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