Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tips for Parents

Helping a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Don’t wait to seek treatment.
Early intervention is the most important key to autism treatment success. Seek help as soon as you suspect a problem in your child. Don’t wait for a diagnosis. You don’t need one to start treating your child’s symptoms.

Learn about autism
The more you know about autism spectrum disorders, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions.

Become an expert on your child
Figure out what triggers your kid’s “bad” or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your autistic child find stressful? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, you’ll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing situations that cause difficulties.

Accept and love your child for who he or she is
Rather than focusing on how your autistic child is different from other children and what he or she is “missing,” focus on what makes your child happy. Enjoy your kid’s special quirks, celebrate small successes, and stop comparing your child to others-developmentally-challenged or not.

Be patient and optimistic
It’s impossible to predict the course of an autism spectrum disorder. Don’t jump to conclusions about what life is going to be like for your child. Like everyone else, people with autism have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities.