Friday, February 24, 2012

Children With Autism and Structure

Children with autism have many struggles placed before them in life. You as a Parent of a child with autism want nothing but the best for them. One of the best ways you can help your child is to provide them a home environment in which they feel safe and secure. You can do this through structure and consistency. Through all of the chaos that children with autism feel, you can help keep them grounded. Follow a few simple steps and your home life could be very calm and serene. Well at least as serene as it can be with a child of any sort keeping you on your toes.

One of the first things you should do is set up a schedule for your child with an autism spectrum disorder. Make a pictorial schedule and place somewhere the child can see and refer to it often. Stick by the schedule, try to make sure that the days typically remain the same. You will want to use pictures, as a lot of children with autism are visual learners. If an occasion should arise that you need to change the schedule, try preparing the child in advance. Possibly try rehearsing with them the situation that is going to arise that will interrupt the schedule. You will surely want to do some preparing around big events such as holidays and birthdays. These will be huge disruptions in the normalcy of their schedule. The concreteness of the schedule will help your autistic child feel safe.

Speaking of safe, you will want to set up a place set aside specifically for the child. This will be their safety area. This should be a place where they can go to relax free from any stressors. Maybe this is a chair in the den, or someplace quiet. Make sure this spot is theirs, and theirs alone. This maybe where they need to go when they feel overwhelmed. You will want to clearly define this place so your child know where to go.

Being consistent is also a big key. How you interact with children with autism should remain consistent. This will further their sense of safety and comfort. If something is off limits, it should be off limits all the time. Don't be wishy washy when it comes to your child with autism. This may only confuse them, and make them feel unsafe, or turbulent.

Your actions will directly contribute to how secure you child with autism feels. Make sure you follow these simple steps and you should do well by your child.

More information and resources about Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders can be found at my website

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