How to Deal with Autistic Children


Having a child diagnosed with autism can prove very challenging. Autism, a brain developmental disorder often characterized by impairments in social skills and language development, can also result in a lack or intuition or ability to “read” others’ body language and facial cues. In order to deal with an autistic child, you must acknowledge the disorder to get rid a lot of questioning and confusion regarding why the child acts the way he does. It may prove challenging, but you can employ specific strategies to handle an autistic child and make the experience positive.

1. You must learn about autism if you deal with an autistic child. You should first learn facts about it and study the behavior of a person with the disorder. Each child is different, and knowing your own child is a vital key when dealing with him.

2. Having repetitive behavior marks one of the categories of autism, so consider developing and maintaining a daily and weekly routine for the child. Autistic children need consistent routines each day. Otherwise, they will get irate easily—which might result in a meltdown.

3. When talking to autistic children, adapt to their language. Often they will speak in gibberish, but talk to them as if they are normal children. This might test your patience, so modify your expectations accordingly. Avoid yelling and shouting.

4. Identify patterns of behavior. Understand how the child functions and take notes. When an external variable affects autistic children’s senses, they often react by having a meltdown. Identifying daily routines can help you modify the environment and prevent other factors that can affect it at minimum.

5. Don’t be afraid to discipline the child. Many parents and caregivers fear that disciplining an autistic child may lead to more bad behavior, but most autistic children can learn. Teach the child how to organize his toys. Place pictures of the item on his drawers to indicate where to keep toys when returned. Provide a play area and don’t allow the child to play in bed so he will learn the bed is a place for sleeping only.

6. Use visual aids. Since autistic children often have difficulty interacting with others, visual aids can help them demonstrate their actions. Use pictures when trying to teach the child new concepts. If you want the child to learn how to eat, show her how to use a spoon and fork. Visual aids can also help autistic children show their feelings. Give them a color sheet and start teaching them how they can associate colors with their thoughts and feelings. Blue can mean they’re happy, and red can mean angry.

7. Seek professional help. The public has an awareness of autism, and local agencies offer help for parents to deal with an autistic child. Join meeting groups in which you can meet other families dealing with autism. Talk to them and learn from their experiences.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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