Autism doesn't affect just the person with autism. No, autism affects the entire family. It affects the parents, the siblings and even the extended family. It affects the lives of all involved with the individual. And sometimes that can be down right difficult.
Some days are easier than others. After all, there are some days that they behave relatively well, you don't have any yelling, screaming or tantrums in public, and your child may resemble a child without autism.
Then there are those other days. The days where you have to cope with the stares and rude, unwelcome comments of others. The days where you wish you could crawl inside your own skin and never come out.
Like any parent we love our child, it's just sometimes it is so incredibly difficult that you wish the day would end.
So how do you cope? How to you get through the rougher days, to reach their better days?
First you need to understand, like anyone, your child has triggers. Things that get under their skin and make them act out. Knowing you child as well as you can, can help you sort out some of the trigger points for meltdowns, which you can then use to minimize the damage and behaviours.
If you know crowds upset your child, see if someone can watch your child while you do the shopping. If certain textures make your child meltdown, avoid those material at all costs. If you can't avoid taking them to the mall or shopping try noise canceling headphones. Sometimes just blocking out the noise of the world can help them cope.
Try to allow them some control in their own lives. If they are picky about clothing textures, show the a selection of clothes in the material they like and allow them to pick out their own clothing.
Let them choose some of the meals. If they won't eat certain textures, giving them the choice of what to eat can make mealtime less of a struggle. Most children will get all of their nutrients even if they don't take in the correct amount daily. It will usually balance out when looked at weekly or monthly. Give them some choice in their meals and you'd be surprised at how easy meal time can become for the entire family.
Autistic children are just like any other child. They need to be loved and cared for.
The only difference is how autistic children are loved and cared for. Know your child well enough, and you can it so that there are more of those easy days. For more ways to cope with autism, click here!
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