Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Autism Care For Toddlers

Many parents are frightened upon finding out that their child is autistic. The prospect of raising a child who has autism is intimidating, and having an autistic child is an exercise in patience, certainly. However, it can also be just as rewarding an experience for parents as raising a normal child. Toddlers at any age and of any abilities can be a challenge, but there are some great ways to make it easier on your child as well as yourself.

Do Some Research - With the internet, this is easier than ever. Don't let the internet be the end of your resources, though. While there are many websites and forums online for parents of autistic children - and it is helpful to join some of these to network with other parents - it's also important to pick up a few books. Keep in mind that all children are different and every method suggested will not work for every child.

Get to Know Your Toddler - Autism is not a disorder that is the same from person to person. It is called the 'autism spectrum' because severity and forms vary from minor symptoms to very significant problems. A professional diagnosis can give you an accurate idea of your child's position on the spectrum, but it is up to you to learn who your child is as a person. Keep a Diary This is more for record-keeping than for a sounding board. Write down everything from foods to reactions to certain colours, textures, and environments. You can learn a great deal about which things agitate or upset your child this way. Also make note of any new symptoms you notice. Having a record of symptoms and reactions to environmental factors can help when contacting your child's doctor, as well.

Stay Attentive - It is important to pay attention. Every parent knows this, but it is all the more important when caring for a child with autism because many don't understand or have the ability to express their feelings and emotions. Children who have autism can seem cold, standoffish, and indifferent even to their parents. Don't make the mistake of assuming that they do not have those feelings, though. Many toddlers who have profound autism are unable to hug and kiss their parents and find it distressing when forced to do so. Take your child's feelings into account when considering any activities.

Create a Routine - Routine is everything to an autistic child because it gives them feelings of safety and calm. Most are frustrated very easily by a small change in routine that seems like nothing at all to you. Try to arrange for naps, meals, playtime, and outings to occur at the same time each day. It can also be helpful to create routines for certain times of day, such as bedtime. Many children who have autism are very high-strung. By removing stimulation, such as foods and television, a couple of hours before bed and performing more calming activities can help get an autistic toddler to fall asleep.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_Simpson

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