As a parent of a child with autism, helping them to reach full potential is one of the ultimate outcomes you would like to achieve. To accomplish that, there are different stepping stones to overcome together. There are a few good starting points I would like to share in order for your child to reach his or her goals effectively.
Get started early with the right team
The best thing you can do is to kick start intervention as early as possible. If you notice something is amiss, seek help as soon as possible even for children who are not yet officially diagnosed. It is always more beneficial to start early because it helps to speed up your child’s development and reduce developmental delays.
Aside from the crucial time frame, parents should strongly consider creating a team who are willing to assist you and your child to reach their full potential. This specially created support group usually consist of family, friends, therapists, educators and other professionals. No matter how big or small the team is, the crucial point is that they are all dedicated and geared towards helping your child achieve their best outcome.
You can start by taking data points around your child development. By doing that, you will be able to objectively explore different areas of your child’s progression, figure what is working out best for him or her and celebrate little milestones together!
Additionally, recording helps you to better address challenging behaviours because you are better able to narrow down and pinpoint the motivation behind the tantrum more efficiently. For example, there could be many reasons why your child is yelling or shouting. It could be because your child is overstimulated or just acting out because he/she did not get what they wanted. With your data records, you will be able to identify certain trends in your child’s behaviour. As a result, you are better equipped to prepare and address it accordingly.
One of the best ways is to use the ABC model to record, which you could read here in one of our previous articles.
Make learning fun
Play is one of the main ways in which children learn and develop. For children coping with ASD, play is an essential part of learning and it should not feel like work.
As parents, you can try to infuse activities that both you and your child can have fun together. For example, you may use bubbles to teach your child how to imitate the action of blowing or getting them to sort different coloured beans to strengthen their fine motor skills and grip.
As such activities are fun, children often become absorbed in what they are doing. Concurrently, it helps to make the child feel good about their abilities and build their sense of self-worth. Play helps to nurture imagination and opportunity to learn essential skills such as problem-solving, sharing and cooperation while having fun.
Each step counts
With that being said, each small step of action you take will help your child reach their fullest potential. The earlier children with ASD get help, the greater their chance of treatment success. Research has consistently shown that early intervention is one of the most effective ways to speed up a child’s development and reduce symptoms of autism over the lifespan.
Start taking action for your child and join them in the fun too!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." ~ Lao Tzu
Written by Jermaine Tan
Family Lives (October, 2018).Why play matters. Retrieved from A Family Lives website: https://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/early-years-development/learning-and-play/why-play-matters/
HelpGuide (June, 2019). Helping your child with autism thrive: Parenting tips, treatments and services that can help. Retrieved from A HelpGuide website: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism-learning-disabilities/helping-your-child-with-autism-thrive.htm
Rockmelon. (n.d.). How can parents help their child with autism? Retrieved from A Rockmelon Project website: https://rockmelon.com/how-can-parents-help-their-child-with-autism/