Dealing with the congenital disorder is difficult – but there are ways to best support an autistic child in everyday life.
An Autistic Child Lives In His Own World
Children affected by autism rarely or never share their environment. While healthy babies are constantly babbling or stretching their arms towards their parents, such gestures are rather rare in autistic babies.
As they grow older, these children find it difficult to attach importance to things: they do not know what is expected of them, which places them under great stress. Even an everyday triviality such as brushing your teeth can overwhelm an autistic child and in the worst case lead to an emotional outburst. The affected are thus hardly able to understand our world and therefore often withdraw into their own.
For Parents, Education Is Often A Test Of Patience
The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the easier it is for parents to get the child used to rules and structures. An autistic child must be encouraged and challenged. Important topics are, for example, facial expressions and gestures, the right approach to other people and manners. Hereby, even with a lot of sensitivity and patience, parents have to expect that progress will take some time. There may be days when the child understands something quickly and implements it independently. And there may be days when even frequent repetition is unsuccessful.
Avoid tackling several topics at the same time so as not to overstrain the offspring. Only when an autist has really learned something and behaves correctly on his own does it make sense to tackle the next problem. And even if it is sometimes difficult: Stay consistent. The child has to learn that his actions and behavior have consequences. For example, refusing to wear shoes may make it too late to visit the playground at some point.
Work With Pictures
An autistic child usually learns better by seeing than by hearing. For this reason, explaining things with simple photos and pictures can help. This is how the entire daily routine can be structured: In the morning, for example, you show the child a photo of a toothbrush so that it understands that it is time to go to the bathroom. A picture of an apple stands for lunch. And with a photo of a bed, you signal that you’re about to go to bed.
Such photos can also help the child make their own decisions. If the offspring are unsure or just can not say what they want to do, use pictures to give them more choice. There may be a swing for the playground and a ball for the football game. It may seem cumbersome to fool the child every step of the way. But only then will it understand what is expected of him and can behave accordingly.
Parents Should Not Forget Themselves
It is natural that when you train an autistic person, you come up against your own limits. That’s no reason to be ashamed – trust your family and friends. If you realize that you are permanently overwhelmed, do not hesitate to seek professional help.