For a family, a home that’s cozy though messy, spacious despite the lack of light, and fun in the middle of the noise from television and the kids running around is a near-perfect home. But for a family where there is a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it may not be so fun and happy. It is crucial to make the home as safe and stress-free as possible for the child and the family to thrive and overcome the challenges of the life they are living every day. Continue reading “Keeping Your Home Safe For Your Autistic Child”
Not many people know that there are older adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) yet remain undiagnosed. Why? Because they only learned about ASD when they reached adulthood. Currently, the awareness of the condition has increased, leading to more older adults with autism to come forward and be appropriately evaluated. Further, those who are high functioning are not very easy to identify even by their loved ones, as they have symptoms that are not clear and identifiable to autism alone. Continue reading “Signs And Symptoms Of Older Adult Autism”
Having a child with special needs can be challenging because you need to be mindful of a lot of things. First of all, you will always have second thoughts on what to do with your child because you know that you have a peculiar situation. Because of this, there is a high tendency that you will feel a lot of stress and anxiety. Whenever you begin to notice that your current situation is making you a different person that you no longer recognize, be sure that you get in touch with an expert therapist.
Going back to rearing your child, we also understand that you are experiencing difficulty in how to discipline him. Of course, you want your child with an autism spectrum disorder to know the difference between right and wrong. For this reason, you want him to be disciplined at all times. The problem now is how you can make it happen if you are unsure with the situation? What are the right things that are allowed and those that are prohibited? Up to what extent can you become tough to your kid? These are some of the questions that we aim to answer in our article.
“Kids with trauma (and the more trauma, the more true this is) are very vulnerable when they are disciplined, so you want to discipline very carefully. Try to be as gentle as you can while still holding reasonable and safe guidelines.” Cynthia Ridgway, MA, LMHC, NCC, DCC said. Make sure that you read the entire post so that you can get the complete list of tips and tricks that will guide you in leading your child to the right path. Remember that it is still highly possible to discipline your kid well even though he has a medical condition. What is essential is that you have set your mind to make it happen. As long as you believe that it is a possibility and that you trust yourself, everything is going to be okay. Here are some of the strategies to remember when it comes to disciplining your beloved autistic child:
Be Familiarize With His Condition
The basic and initial step that you must complete as soon as possible is to learn everything you must know about your son’s medical condition. Do not be ashamed to ask several questions to his doctor or physician so that you will be informed. Keep in mind that there are signs and symptoms for autism spectrum disorder that you need to become a master of. Learn what triggers your child’s tantrums so that it will be easier on your part to control it. Aside from this, you can also try reading online journals or publications created by top psychologists and therapists who have dedicated their lives in the study of autism.
Focus On Rewards And Consequences
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT used to say, “Rather than focusing on weaknesses, find ways to assist your child in developing to his or her full potential. When encouraged, children will acquire talents to compensate for any deficiencies.” Train your child to act the way you want them to be by incorporating rewards and consequences in your day-to-day interaction. Be vocal in recognizing the good deeds that they have done for the given day. Aside from this, be sure that you give them some rewards for it so that they will be motivated to continue improving their attitude. The more they receive prizes, the more they can associate it with good behavior. On the other hand, if your child commits wrongdoing, do not hesitate to give a consequence for it. Take note that you need to find the balance between providing rewards and consequences to ensure that your child will not grow up as a spoiled brat. Teach him all the best life lessons while he is still young and continue to remind him about it.
Establish A Clear Routine
Children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to follow instructions and remember things. One of the downsides of this condition is that your child can have a poor memory. As such, you cannot expect him to remember what he did in the past or the words that you tell him. Because of this, you must become more patient and understanding in establishing a clear routine that he can follow. All you have to do is to create a schedule for the day and make it consistent so that he can make it part of his system. The key to succeeding in this aspect is to keep on repeating the process until he masters it. You can also use charts that can guide your kid on what he needs to do for a given time. “I think the parents who do best are the ones who can celebrate each achievement and developmental gain as it occurs, and who aren’t focused on an ultimate outcome of where the child needs to end up. These parents practice being ‘in the moment’ versus measuring progress against some ideal outcome.” That is according to Amy Keefer PhD, a clinical psychologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders.
Make sure to recognize all your efforts in raising a child with autism. Remember that you deserve nothing but the best in this world. You are an amazing person who is ready to take on the challenge of raising a kid with special needs. All your efforts will be worth it in the end.
The way that people who have never been around autistic kids speak of the disability is diversified. The more empathetic ones tend to say, “I only know that they need to receive special education,” which is not exactly wrong. Joining a SPED class indeed helps them learn how to live normally and keep up with the world. The tactless people, unfortunately, interchange the words “mental disorder” and “autism,” assuming that they are synonymous to one another.
You need not waste your time correcting other people about the clear difference between the two, but you should not stay mum either if an unintelligent individual talks smack about autism in front of the disabled child. While he or she may not be the type to converse, the kid will eventually understand what the derogatory words mean. That can inadvertently depress him or her or cause anxiety or anger management issues to develop.
To further shield your child against unfeeling folks like that, you better concentrate on promoting positive mental health on a youngster within the autism spectrum.
- Strengthen Family Relationships
Unbeknownst to many parents, the oversensitivity of an autistic kid does not only get activated by changing lights or big, noisy crowds. Seeing you and your spouse fight tends to affect their behavior as well. He or she can become irritable and aggressive as days pass, considering that is his or her way of reacting to the situation.
What may alter the problem is showing the child that he or she belongs to a loving family. You help each other out when doing chores. If there is a misunderstanding, you talk in calm, low voices. In short, maintaining a steady and peaceful relationship with everyone in the family won’t trigger the symptoms often.
- Introduce A New Hobby
Autistic children are not different from non-disabled kids, in the sense that they feel bored with their monotonous life sometimes. It is understandable if you set a daily routine to teach them basic skills, yes. However, in case all they do for months is wake up at seven o’clock, go to school for four hours, eat snacks at three in the afternoon, and go to bed around eight o’clock, it may not be beneficial for their mental and physical growth.
To avoid pushing the kid to clamp up because of the exhausting routine, you should consider enrolling him or her to different activities. Bring your child to a new class every day to see which ones they will potentially like. The advantage of taking him or her to as many activities as possible is that you never run out of hobbies to introduce to your kid.
If he or she wants to return to karate or painting class, then that’s amazing. Considering you still have not found an activity that the child seems interested in, you may ask for recommendations from other autism parents.
- Share Coping Mechanisms
Lastly, children deserve to learn how to not give up from their moms and dads, regardless if they have a disability or not. As much as you want to be there for them 24/7, there will be instances when they have to deal with a situation alone. For that reason, you should impart coping techniques that they can use on various occasions.
Say, the child is afraid of the new environment. Instead of breaking down, he or she should distract himself or herself until the parent or another relative comes. In case your kid experiences sensory overload, he or she should seek a quiet place or put on the headphones to cancel out the noise.
Having positive mental health is highly significant, primarily for autistic children who are prone to receiving rude comments and backlash from mean people. They need to develop a peaceful mind so that depression, anxiety, and other disorders will not affect them. If you can start doing the tips above now, that will undoubtedly be helpful for keeping a child within the autism spectrum mentally strong.
Finding out that your child has autism is quite devastating for any parent; however, realizing along the way that your child has difficulty concerning verbal communication is adding salt to a fresh wound. Almost 30% of autism spectrum disorders cases have little or no verbal forms of effective communication. Experts suggest practicing encouraging language development in nonverbal children with autism religiously. Continue reading “Strategies in Helping The Nonverbal Child With Autism Speak”
Naturally, kids are playful and energetic. They tend to be curious about things happening around them and go out of their way to explore; thus, at times, they can be inattentive and unfocused on the subject at hand. When these occurrences become too frequent, parents start to ask if there is something wrong with the child or he/she might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a genetic and neurological syndrome that affects the regulation of specific brain functions and behaviors. The brain functions changed more on the higher execution skills such as concentration, memory, organization, hyperactive activities and impulsivity, and social skills.
According to statistics, ADHD affects approximately around 11 million people in the United States alone. It occurs in both men and women and usually persists throughout the lifespan.
Since the disorder greatly influenced the brain functions, traditional classroom settings can be complicated for a child with ADHD. Managing a room filled with kids with different personalities and preferences as well as attending to a child with ADHD can be a challenge. However, it is not a hopeless situation. After all, when you concentrate on the facts at hand, all that is expected from a child in school is to behave, sit and listen quietly, being attentive at lectures, follow the lessons and concentrate, are the same things that individuals with ADHD have a difficult time dealing with.
It is important to know that they aren’t deliberately doing these things to negate the authority of the parents or the teachers; it’s just that their brains won’t let them. Students obtain the consequences of their condition through having poor grades, being scolded and reprimanded, getting teased by peers and low self-confidence.
Strategies for Teaching
Teachers play a crucial role in the school experience of a child and cases of ADHD will require the teacher with a great deal of patience, consistency, and creativity to develop strategies that will aid students with ADHD to concentrate and learn their full potentials.
- Seating arrangement is vital in gaining the focus and attention of the child.
- Place the student away from windows and doors. It will limit stimulation from outside.
- Put the child right in front of your desk. This way he/she will more likely be focused on the lesson than anything else.
- The recommended seating arrangement is in rows as compared to seated around tables or the students facing one another
- Provide a quiet environment free of distraction during examination and quiet study time.
- 2. Delivery of Information
- It may require repetition and tons of patience on the part of the teacher
- Give brief and straightforward instructions in pace – not in rush moments. Repeat the information as necessary
- Assign the most challenging task/material first thing in class.
- Utilize visual aids such as charts, pictures, and color coding.
- Create summary/outlines
- 3. Assignments/Student Work
- Make learning activities and tests with less number of items. Give them regular short tests.
- Test the student with ADHD in examination method that they excel in for instance orally or multiple choice
- Accept late work and give partial credit for partially done tasks.
The school environment and the classic symptoms of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are not compatible with each other.
In school, the students are expected to stay quiet until called, listen attentively and concentrate on the task at hand. These tasks are the same activities that are hard to sustain and maintain by individuals with ADHD. The frustration is not only felt by the teacher, parents, and people around but also, the child with the disorder. After all, it would be so much better for them, but then again, the disorder is not a question of willingness. It is a neurological deficit that hinders their learning in the traditional and structured way.
Achieving success in school for ADHD children will require unwavering support from the parents and home environment. Equip your child with learning strategies for the classroom and communicating with teachers about the learning and study habits of your child. With close coordination and interrogation at home and effective teaching strategies in the school, kids with ADHD can flourish in school.
Remember that a classroom teacher is managing a good number of pupils, each with different personalities and learning styles and at least one or two students with ADHD. Teachers can give their best when dealing with the child in school, but it is the parental role which can dramatically improve the child’s education.
Parents are in the position to optimize the child’s chances for success through complementing and supporting work done in the classroom at home. If it is possible, work closely with the teachers of your child. These are the possible ways to make their lives in the schoolroom be a conducive place for learning.
Parents/primary caregiver should communicate with school
Before even the school starts, begin a good working relationship with the school officials and teachers. Once the school has started, find time to speak with the teacher and counselor at least once a month. Discuss with them your hopes for your child in school. Generate together with the teacher realistic, specific and attainable goals for that particular school year. Be open to possible suggestions and constructive criticisms.
Managing impulsive behaviors
The best way to combat sudden thoughts and actions is to continually remind him/her of the written behavior plan. Place it on the nearest wall or the child’s desk if possible.
Also, give consequences on the inappropriate behavior immediately and make sure that they understand the reason why they are being punished. On the other hand, don’t be stingy with the praises and approvals. In the same manner, always give the affirmation immediately after doing the right thing.
Dealing with fidgeting and hyperactivity
Since many students with ADHD seek to be in constant physical motion. Give the child opportunities to do tasks and errands that require physical movement. Also, encouraging the child to play sports will ensure that his energy is directed to something productive at the same time, maintaining his/her calm state. Lastly, provide him/her with a stress ball, small toy or an object to squeeze or play discreetly in his/her seat.
Taking care of a child with autism is no easy feat. As the adage states, it requires a village to properly rear a child with this condition without sacrificing other aspects of your life. As much as possible, parents want to shield their child from all the cruelty of the world because they know for a fact how harsh it can be; that is why parents with autistic child find choosing the perfect school is quite difficult. There are many factors and alternative options that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a school for your child. Since autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of disorder with varying symptoms and difference in levels of severity. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to teaching and school, therefore; choosing the best school is a unique process for each child.
In everyday lives, people seem to under-appreciate the benefits of communication and language. After all, we use it every day in different ways possible giving us the medium to enable express our thoughts and ideas to others; however, the privilege of speech and verbal communication is not bestowed to approximately thirty percent of all cases diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This disability doesn’t necessarily mean the complete inability to communicate; however, to do so efficiently, people around the child with verbal communication difficulty should make modifications and adjustments. There are other factors in communication such as body language, the tone of voice, facial expressions. These can be absent or in congruent in a child with autism spectrum disorder as well. Few scientific investigations are done on the subject. Little is known about the thought progressions of individuals who can’t speak. Nevertheless, many studies are currently ongoing, and innovation is opening doors for communication and understanding.