Learning to treat autistic children properly is fundamental to their education, their future and the well-being and quality of life of the whole family. Below we give you 23 practical tips.
When a family learns that their child has autism, one of the first questions that may come to mind is how they should treat it from that moment. Either in their care, their way of communicating with him or even educating him.
It is true that each person with autism is different, but in general there are some guidelines that we can follow that will make our relationship better and more positive and enriching for both parties.
23 tips for treating autistic children
1- Have a life governed by a schedule
Children with autism are not flexible in their daily lives, so it must be governed by activities that always meet the same schedule, otherwise we will awaken incomprehension and frustration.
If we follow this methodology, the child will be able to anticipate everything he is going to do during the day, thus reducing his stress and discomfort. A good way to do it is to have a large schedule somewhere in the house about all the activities you will do during the week so you can consult it whenever you want.
Even if you always do the same activities, it is good that one day a week the activity is changed. If it is presented in advance, you will be able to internalize that there is a change and little by little we will make it more flexible.
2- Avoid anger whenever possible
People with autism are the same as those who do not have this disorder. What happens around them affects them even though some do not have the ability to demonstrate or communicate it.
In the event that they have not done something correctly or that their behavior has not been adequate, we must let them know that they have bothered us. All in a calm and calm way. If we do it aggressively we can create anxiety and make them nervous too.
3- Do not talk to them too much
Sometimes, they may not want to communicate with anyone. As fathers and mothers we must respect that our son does not want to speak that day or even that they speak to him. If we force him, it is possible that we alter his tranquility and we can unleash aggressive behavior.
On the other hand, it is not advisable to talk too quickly because some do not have good communication skills and as in the previous case, we can create frustration and anxiety.
4- Reward what you do well
As with people who do not have this disorder, they love knowing they have done well. Our duty as parents is to make them reach that message by rewarding this behavior with something we know they like.
The same thing would happen if they did not have good behavior or did not do something properly. In this case, it is recommended that we punish him by removing something that we know he likes during a certain time.
If we are teaching him to do something, it is normal that at first it costs him a lot. It is even possible that it takes more time than “normal”. We have to be patient and not be upset because we can affect him negatively.
5- Help them understand their surroundings
We must bear in mind that it is difficult for him to understand why things are done in one way and not in another. People with autism do not understand things that are very abstract, such as rules for example .
Therefore, as parents we must support them and do everything possible to assimilate and internalize in one way or another the world around them.
6- Respect your space
Something as simple as talking to him in an ascending way or giving him a hug without being expected, can alter people with autism in an excessive way.
As family we have to respect your space in order not to irritate you and make your day to day more comfortable, keeping in mind that we should never leave you alone.
7- Understand the way you communicate
Depending on the person who presents this disorder, as well as others that may be associated, there are people with autism who can communicate with both help and without help and others who are unable to articulate any word.
Although they do not have the same communication skills that we do, they are able to communicate when they are wrong by other means: screaming, swinging, flapping their hands, turning in a circle or even hurting themselves.
Therefore, we must pay attention to these behaviors to know exactly what it is you need.
8- Ask him what he is capable of doing
Although you may have limitations or do not do some things properly, we have to emphasize and value the things you do know. A good way is to give him that responsibility, for example if he knows how to put the napkins to let him put them and ask him for it.
9- Speak to them clearly
Not everyone has the ability to communicate correctly or understand what we say. Avoid complex sentences and use clear and simple language.
It is recommended that we also accompany what we say with visual gestures, this will help you understand what we are saying.
10- See beyond your disorder
We can not blame ourselves, much less treat it with pity or sorrow. We have to see that he is a person just like any other and that he has the same needs as we do. So he also wants to have fun, enjoy the family, do new things (within his possibilities) etc.
11- Enjoy your company
Children with autism can teach us many things if we pay attention. We have to take advantage of every minute we are with them and try to make those moments the best for both parties.
12- Accept it as it is
We have to accept it as it is. There are people with this disorder who have many manias that can make us feel bad sometimes and that may even become a family problem.
We have to find the best solution for both parties without affecting the person with autism in a calm way and without being upset.
13- Help him improve
It is important that we try to improve on those limitations or problems that may arise by giving you the necessary tools. If we know that you can not be in a place where there are many people, our duty to have a quality of life is to help you overcome your stress and face these types of situations.
14- Promote your autonomy
As family members we can not feel guilty of this situation, we must be strong and from the first moment give the necessary guidelines so that when it grows, as far as possible it is autonomous and can live alone or without help.
What other things should you consider as parents?
In addition to asking us the question of how I should treat my son from now on, we may also ask ourselves other questions. Even so it is important that, in addition to the above, we take into account the points that appear below:
15- Continue working as a family
It is important that as a family we work together and more when we have a person with this disorder in it. Following the rules will be essential to give the child the stability he needs.
Our son can move forward and improve if all his members work for that purpose and set an example. Otherwise, the family will be an impediment in its evolution.
16- Talking with other parents
To know that there are other parents with children with autism. In addition to reassuring us, it will also allow us to inform ourselves about how they are organized, how they treat their child and what methodologies work for them and which ones do not.
They will also be able to help us about the therapies that exist, as well as the medications that may work better if necessary.
17- Maintain a sense of humor
It is important that we have good humor and we know how to accept reality as it is and the sooner the better. If we do not do it, we can be affected ourselves and in turn we can harm our child in a negative way.
18- Planning the future with time
As parents we have a finite cycle, this can create anxiety because we will not know what will happen to our child once we are not. Therefore, it is important that we organize ourselves to have everything prepared for that day and thus reduce this feeling.
19- Be aware of the progress made by the child and the family in general
It is important that we are aware of the advances that the family is making, as well as of the progress made by the child. This will help to see everything that has been advanced and will make us feel better.
20- Be calm
As paternal referents, it is important that we remain calm at all times although in some occasions we feel that circumstances can overwhelm us. If we get upset we can negatively affect our child and that must be the last thing.
As we mentioned earlier, people with autism need to have a gridded life given their lack of flexibility. We have to learn to organize ourselves with this in mind to give our son the best quality of life.
22- Learn about autism
It is important that we know exactly what disorder our child has in order to understand it and put ourselves in its place. This will improve your relationship as well as your dealings with him.
23- Talking to your brother
In the case that your child with autism has a brother who is younger than him or older, we have to explain what happens to him, as well as the rules that should be followed from now on at home.
These are not only going to be recommended and necessary for the person with this disorder since they can also benefit from them all the members of the family.
Meet your son
The guidelines we have put so much to treat your child with autism as for the family in general, can vary from one child to another as well as from one family to another. Who knows best your child is yourself, so it is important that although you follow the general rules that we recommend you formulate your own.
Each person with autism is different and their behavior depends on many factors including: age, temperament, if they have associated diseases … Therefore:
- Watch your son carefully . This will help you understand your behavior and know how to act as well as your tastes and the things that may bother you.
- Creates new standards . Based on the conclusions you have drawn during the observation, create your own guidelines for treating your child with autism to see if you get the results you expect.
- Rehearse and test your own guidelines . The only way to see if the guidelines you have created work is to test them in the different situations of everyday life that may arise with your child. In the event that this is not the case, we will have to return to the initial section.
- It is consistent . It is very important that you be consistent with the guidelines you create and what you intend to do with your child. So, you must think if it is exactly what you want and if it is the best for him.
- Keep them in time . The most complicated thing is to keep them in time, it can be very exhausting but it is important for him and the family in general to do it this way and not another.
- Help yourself from professionals . Education professionals, as well as mental health professionals, can help you with these issues. Whenever you need it, it is good that you ask for help.
As we have seen, having a person with autism in our lives can be a big change. However, we can not let ourselves be carried away by negative emotions and we have to accept reality as it is.
At the beginning this can be very complicated, but little by little it will be accepted and you will do it for the welfare of your child. Do not be afraid to seek help to support yourself or even have a bad day, it is natural that you feel that way.
Following these guidelines will help you to improve your day to day with your child and even with time you will follow your own ones that work for you. Well, as we said before, every person with autism is different and although we have set some general rules, it is important that you know your child to know exactly which tools to follow.