No need to fret about giving your child the fullest, most enriching life possible—there’s a community of parents and professionals rallying around you, your child, and others who know your situation well. Finding ways to help your child with autism thrive is now more realistic than ever as we continue to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the many qualities of this neurological and developmental condition.
With all children, consistency is key. Children need to know what to expect through structure and context clues; this is no different for a child with ASD. Anticipation can go either way and be displayed as motivation for a tantrum or cooperation for an expected event.
With reinforcement based on good and bad behavior, there must be consistency. Your child should be able to foresee certain outcomes based on their own performance in everyday life. Though you may have to budge a little on what behaviors you’ll accept when you have a child with autism, it is very important that you give positive reinforcement for the acceptable conduct your child exhibits.
In responses and behaviors
When you respond to things your child says or ways in which they act, it’s important to decide what message you want to be received. For social situations, prompt your child to ask others questions and respond appropriately.
This will take time and, again, consistency in order to progress. Be sure that the behaviors you display in front of your child directly correlate with behaviors you want your child demonstrating. Mimicking is a large part of both developmental growth and autism therapy.
Creating visual aids and schedules will help curb unwanted behaviors, as the unknown can be stressful for your child. Stick to a routine; allowing your child to express some autonomy by knowing what’s going on will help you and your family. You want your child to be able to exhibit a level of self-sufficiency. Use a gradual release of responsibility by allowing them to do things more independently after doing them together as a family.
Work With Your Child
Raising kids, in general, takes quite a bit of compromise. Raising a child who is on the spectrum may take a whole new level of understanding, negotiating, and assistance. Do the best you can; remember that this is going to be a lifetime of dedicated practice and, with the appropriate support, things can change and get better.
Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy all aid in helping your child become successful and stronger in all aspects. Consider a hippotherapy simulator to help strengthen thousands of muscles in the body. It stimulates parts of the brain to help develop speech, social skills, core strength, hip flexibility, and so much more. Plus, many children feel that partaking in this type of therapy is a reward.
For questions regarding the many benefits of equine therapy and the usefulness of hippotherapy technology, turn to Chariot Innovations. The MiraColt has made horseback riding therapy obtainable within a contained environment.
The ways to help your child with autism thrive are never-ending. Working closely with your child and getting to know their capabilities is more helpful than you could imagine. Never let yourself feel too alone. When you’re not sure where to go on any given day, reach out to ASD support groups and circles to help you through that time. You’re doing great, and with anything in life, you’re going to have highs and lows.