Helping your Autistic child at home


Autism spectrum disorder is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn and behave. It can be diagnosed as early as 2 years of age. Children with Autism often have comorbid conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression. As this condition is a spectrum, it can be mild, moderate, or severe and doesn’t appear similar across everyone. It is rightly said that if you have met one person with Autism, you’ve met only one person with Autism!

What to do if I doubt that my child has autism?

Currently there is no medical test to diagnose Autism, prenatally. But once you detect early signs, receiving a diagnosis is often not difficult; you can see a psychiatrist, pediatric neurologist, or, developmental pediatrician.

ASD can be diagnosed at 18 months or younger, but by the age of 24 months, a diagnosis is considered reliable. Moreover, make sure you act as soon as possible. Children who receive early intervention can improve their skills to a greater extent. Remember, you do not need to wait for a diagnosis, you can start early interventions right away!

The multidisciplinary team:

Often more than one professional is involved in the intervention process. The team most definitely includes, but is not limited to:

  • Speech therapists help children with communication and social skills.
  • Behavioral therapist or ABA therapists help children increase desirable behaviors and decrease dysfunctional ones.
  • Psychiatrists may need to prescribe medications to control some symptoms such as hyperactivity and anxiety.
  • Occupational therapists help children how to be independent by teaching them how to perform daily life activities and manage sensory issues.
  • Special Education teachers help to modify the demands of curriculum and facilitate academic growth.

How can I help my autistic child at home?

  • Show consistency to help your child learn. Observe what therapists do and apply those techniques at home.
  • Create a daily routine to prevent overwhelming your child.
  • Reward desirable behaviors.
  • Learn your child’s language for better communication. Observe the nonverbal cues and gestalts your child uses. Some children with ASD express their needs through sounds, movements, and body language. They may get frustrated when you don’t understand them.
  • Make time for play. Children with ASD need to play like other children, so make sure their schedule has time for fun.
  • Notice what overstimulates your child. ASD often makes children hypersensitive/hyposensitive to sensory stimuli.

Tailor your child’s treatment plan according to their strengths and weaknesses.

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