Autism has a wide degree of variation in the way it affects different people. What that basically means is that it is a spectrum disorder, and shows up in different people in a myriad of different ways. Sadly there is no definitive cure for Autism or such Developmental Disorders, but research is continuously being done on the subject, and as new information keeps coming to light, new methods are developed to rehabilitate children suffering from this disability to slowly inculcate them in society, and make them properly function as an integral part of society.
Remember, one of the most important things to do is to have your child checked up by a good doctor the moment you notice that there may be any hint of a behavioural or developmental problem that they are facing. One rule of thumb to be followed is that the earlier a Developmental Disorder like Autism is noticed and then worked upon, the greater are the chances of proper rehabilitation.
Here are a few ways which can help children facing these disorders, as well as which can aid the family of these children in helping them recuperate:
As already mentioned, the best thing for a parent of a child with a Developmental Disorder is to start the rehabilitation treatment at the soonest. The old adage ‘Better safe than sorry’ is perfect for the situation, since intervention at the earliest stage is the best way the treatment can be successful.
Learn about Autism & your Child
The more you know about autism and its spectrum of issues, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with it. Also, as a parent you should become an expert on your child and learn what triggers positive or negative behaviours in them, what makes them stressful or comfortable, etc.
But the most important thing is for you to accept your child completely, with all their quirks and problems. Celebrate their smallest successes, and make sure to not compare them with others, instead let them grow in their own way.
Another important thing is to never ever give up on your child and the treatment, however hopeless it may appear. Predicting autism and its course is nigh impossible, so refrain from jumping to conclusions or despairing and giving up. Instead, keep at it, after all, your child will have a lifetime to grow and develop as a competent individual capable of participating in society.
Provide Safety & a Structured Environment
Children with Autism adapting what they’ve learnt in one setting and applying it to another. So it is better to create a stable, consistent atmosphere of learning. Find out what the therapists are doing, and reinforce it by practicing the same at home, or school, until the message is ingrained in the child. Stick to a schedule, make sure to use positive reinforcement often, and make your home into a safety zone where your child can feel comfortable, relaxed, safe, and at ease with everything. Make it a haven for them.
Use Non-Verbal Cues
Use Non-Verbal cues of communication to connect with your children, and pay special attention to their facial features, or the noise they make and connect it to the emotion they display with it. When they throw a tantrum or are sad, dismayed, or annoyed, be patient and find out the reason for their discomfort.
And remember, at the end of the day even if a child has autism, he or she is still a child, so make time for fun and games which they can enjoy and relax, leading to them coming out of their shell. The games can be educational or therapeutic, or even just fun, but they should be practiced.
Autism Support Groups
Join support groups where you can meet and interact with other families having children with Developmental Disorders. It will give you an avenue to discuss methods of treatment and care, and also provide emotional support to not only the children, but also the parents, who will realize that they are not alone in this battle against Autism, and they can draw on each other for strength and moral support.
These are some of the ways in which you can help children with Developmental Disorders. Remember, disability never defines a person, instead, it is their ability to rise from difficulties and succeed which showcases their mettle. Do not label such children with the term ‘disability’, instead, enable them.