The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports that 1 in every 54 children in the USA is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Other bits of information about this condition is that boys are more prone, with 1 in every 34 identified with autism compared to girls which is 1 in every 144. Also, older parents are more likely to have an autistic child. All studies suggest that genes play a major role in determining autism. There might also be some outside factors that trigger those genes. The very symptoms of autistic children can make it difficult for them to bond with people and even with the closest people to them; their parents.
Symptoms of Autism
There are different degrees of autism and your child could be anywhere on the autism spectrum. The disorder affects a child’s development in the way they react, interact, behave, and communicate with others. A child may not understand or know how to use things like verbal communication, eye contact, or tone of voice. As they grow older, they might use verbal expressions wrongly, often causing them to be misunderstood. They may talk a lot at times or withdraw. Their interests might be limited, focusing on one topic. They feel overwhelmed in certain situations, unable to express their feelings. It’s also common for them to do repetitive behavior, such as rocking themselves.
These communication challenges and restricted behavior will get in the way of a child to live a happy life and cause heartbreak to parents and other family members if the condition is left unattended. Thankfully, you will find a lot of professional help available.
It’s crucial to understand more about ASD and apply the following advice to better communicate and understand your child.
There are plenty of parents in the same situation as you. The best way to understand how to facilitate bonding with your child is to hear from professionals, and learn from the experience of others. Instead of searching around randomly for information, the insight given by the folks at https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/ is exclusively devoted to the parenting of autistic children and is a great place to start. Experts on the matter share their advice with you and you will never feel you are alone in this. Plus, you’ll keep in tune with the latest treatments and methods that are bound to help you.
Look at the Positive
Despite the challenges, most ASD kids rarely lie, are very passionate, and very genuine in their feelings. For every downside of ASD, there are other unique personality traits to discover in your child. Look at these traits from a different angle and you will see the positive.
As in bringing up all children, parents need to focus on positive reinforcement of good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. When your child does something well, reward that behavior right away. It could be verbal praise, a special treat, or give them a privilege. Don’t overdo it and have the reinforcement relative and suitable to the behavior.
Be Specific in Your Words
It’s difficult for an adult, let alone a child, to filter out the most relevant information they need to make sense of things and to understand. You can help your child by not being wordy when you speak. The fewer words you use, the easier for your child to focus on what you’re saying. Choose your words and stick to them; use keywords that will facilitate communication.
Enjoy Outdoor Activities
Typically, an ASD child can have a short attention span which doesn’t differ from all other children. The ASD child can enjoy more being out in a park or their backyard. Running after each other, playing catch, or doing anything outdoors away from crowds will be enjoyable for both of you.
Be in the Right Environment
Some environments are very uncomfortable for children and you have to be aware of that. It’s normal, for instance, for a parent to think that an amusement park would be loads of fun. But the noise, the lights, the crowds can cause an anxiety attack in some children. Listen to what your child wants to do so that you don’t assume what all other kids enjoy, your kid will also enjoy. They might or they might not so it’s important to know what to do when they’re responding to something with fear or anxiety.
Respect Their Space
One of the most difficult things for parents is trying to understand that sometimes their child doesn’t want any sort of physical contact; no hugs, no cuddles, no kisses. When that happens, respect their feelings and don’t force anything upon them.
There are plenty of similarities between raising an ASD child and one who isn’t. They both need love, care, attention, and affection; and a lot of patience. With an ASD child, the lines of communication must be constantly open, and you have to provide a lot of structure and routine in their life. When you learn more, you will turn challenges into opportunities and find your kid can create a close emotional attachment to you.