- 30July 2018
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects around 1 in every 59 children in the United States, and is typically more common in male children than female. 1 in every 37 boys and 1 in every 151 girls have some form of ASD, whether severe or not.
ASD is usually characterized by a significant inability to communicate with others, which can severely impact a child’s social skills. He or she may get ostracized by peers, leading to isolation, which can further hinder a child’s natural developmental process.
Autism is easily detectable in children within the first three years of life, and can come as a shock to most parents. It’s never easy to accept that your child may not be completely healthy! There are always a few steps you can take to ensure your autistic child overcomes new challenges every day and learns new skills to become a functional member of society.
Learn about Autism
The first step you need to take after your child has been confirmed to be autistic is to learn all you can about ASD and how to provide your child with the best care. Untreated autism can significantly damage a child’s social skills and may cause intellectual development delay.
Children with autism usually depend very strongly on schedules and routine, and can get antsy when there is even a slight difference in the routine they are used to. Arrange regular sleeping eating, therapy and teaching times for your child and stick to them. If a change is unavoidable, try to tell your child of it beforehand to avoid distress.
Children on the ASD spectrum find it difficult to continue doing one behavior in different settings. This means that if they learn something new at the therapist’s office, they may only repeat it when they are at the office, and never even think of doing it at home.
Accompany your child to his or her therapy sessions, learn what their therapists are doing and replicate it at home to further your child’s learning process.
Reduce Screen time
When a child already has trouble interacting with others, too much time spent in front of screens could prove to be even more detrimental to his or her social skills. Instead, limit your child’s screen time and arrange for different activities that could possibly help develop their social skills.
Reward Good Behavior
Autistic children typically have a hard time understanding right and wrong behavior and find it difficult to read body language, facial expressions and posture. As such, they may not always be aware of how their behavior may be harmful.
Reward good behavior in your child by praising him or her highly and be very specific about the behavior you are praising. It might also be helpful to explain why you are happy with said behavior. You may also reward your child with a sticker, a sweet or extra playtime with their favorite toys to reinforce positive behavior.
About Orange County, New York for Autism
To learn more about Autism and how to effectively raise a child with autism, or just to get moral support from other parents with autistic children, head on over to Orange County, New York for Autism.
A free-for-all community where people come together for autism awareness and to conduct research and autism interventions in Orange County, New York, the movement aims to provide parents with vital information and support regarding autism. Donate to further our cause and help children with autism live a better, more fruitful life.