Imagine a situation where you are trying to show affection to your beloved child, but then you get no response – this scenario often happens when your child has autism. Instead of communicating with others, most of them want to be alone. Many hate to change their daily routines, and they insist on having things the same way every time. How do families cope with all the stress related to therapies, treatments, responsibilities, and commitments in the family? Dealing with all these stress factors is essential to parents with an autistic child because it can positively build up the family.
Parents can help their autistic child in many ways, to help them thrive and live a normal life. Below are some tips for families on how to cope and adjust to having autistic children.
Brothers or sisters of an autistic child also face challenges since their parents spend more time with their autistic sibling. Sometimes, the other siblings feel left out, and sometimes get jealous, angry, or frustrated. Aside from that, they may feel embarrassed about having a “weird” brother or sister. These are all natural reactions. What can parents do? They can discuss things with the non-autistic child. Parents must explain the issues of their autistic sibling. Also, parents must make sure that they also spend time with their non-autistic children and avoid neglecting their needs. The non-autistic siblings can also watch videos about autism, so they will understand why their sibling acts the way he does.
Autistic youngsters will need added safety measures. An autistic child may be curious and sometimes engage in practices that can be dangerous not only to themselves but to others as well. Parents can do a few preventive measures, such as having safety gates, locks, and child-proofing all electrical outlets. Parents can also rearrange the furniture in the house to avoid hazards such as wrongly placed furniture, which an autistic child can climb and risk falling. Some parents use a GPS tracker to monitor their child. Also, make them carry an autism alert card at all times.
There are specific changes needed in their surroundings so they can feel comfortable (autism-friendly environment). Some autistic people may experience sensory issues. Parents can create a comfortable and soothing environment by using soft furnishings, flooring, and furniture. Also, low arousal colors such as cream may be used for walls. Avoid patterned walls and floors since it can be confusing and can trigger anxieties. Lighting is also crucial; harsh light can hurt their eyes and can be distracting. It is best to use soft lighting if possible.
Remember, autism is a family issue. The only way to successfully deal with autism is by working together as a family. Your child cannot do it alone; he needs you. By applying the tips mentioned above, you can control and manage autism. As a parent, you will also be able to cope well with your child’s autism.