What usually excites parents after childbirth is observing their baby’s growth and development. But what if your child starts to manifest somewhat different developmental signs? According to studies, symptoms of autism usually appear even before a child reaches three years old. These include problems in communicating, difficulty maintaining eye contact, nervous mannerisms, and even social withdrawal. It is essential for family members to be able to spot these signs early on to help the child better manage autism.
One day in the life of a parent of a child with autism is a mix of emotions and experiences that are both happy and sad. Here are few of the highs and lows of raising a child with autism:
The High Points
The role that parents play in the life of their children is important. A recent study shows that the attitude and personality of a person are shaped during his childhood years. This is the primary reason why parents sometimes get the blame when their kids end up as irresponsible members of the community. Because of all these, it is imperative on your part to see to it that you do everything you can in raising your kid. As a parent, everyone expects you to help your beloved child grow into someone who can change the complicated world and make it a better place for everyone.
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.
Picky eaters are a common concern for all parents all over the world. It is the reason why countless shows are showing how parents can sneak in vegetables and fruits in the daily meal plan. How to get creative in order to entice the child into trying healthier food options and not to consume same kinds of food every day?
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.