Autism is caused by differences in the brain however exact causes are still unknown. This condition usually begins prior to the age of 3 and those with autism show differences in communication, behavior and interaction. Additionally, autistic individuals encounter difficulties in maintaining friendships, understanding expected behaviors and communications (“Autism Spectrum Disorder”, 2022). Therefore, having a child diagnosed with autism can be challenging and one might wonder how to handle such children. Hence this blog explores the do’s and don’ts when parenting a child with autism.
Positive reinforcement encourages children to repeat good behavior as it makes one feel good about oneself. Hence, pointing out positive behavior and accepting one’s child for who they are is key to parenting a child with autism (Fulgham, 2022).
Create a schedule
Consistency is ideal with those who are autistic as they tend to like routine. This should also include fun activities which would encourage the child to interact (Fulgham, 2022).
There is no technique that works for everyone and hence it is essential to wait and see what works for one’s child. Nevertheless, this might be challenging until one finds the technique that works (Fulgham, 2022). Despite this, it is important to take time for oneself whenever one is feeling overwhelmed in order to avoid critique or degrading one’s child (Rudy, 2022).
Do not give up
Having tantrums whenever one does daily errands makes one want to create an accommodating routine to avoid such behaviors. Nonetheless, it is essential to keep exposing one’s child to such activities in order to help them get used to them (Fulgham, 2022).
Do not underestimate your child
Although autistic children react differently to their surroundings they understand most if not all that is going on around them. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that although the child can understand they are acting out in a different way (Rudy, 2022).
Do not hover over your child
This is a technique known as helicopter parenting and it should be avoided. Helicopter parenting does not allow one’s child to be independent, challenge oneself, achieve success and understand the concepts of life (Rudy, 2022).
Nowadays there is more awareness on the concept of autism, thus there are things that one can do to become accustomed to parenting an autistic child. It is important to seek professional help and surround oneself with supportive family members and friends. Remember that your child is unique, take time to get to know them and also take time to take care of yourself.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.
Autism Spectrum Disorder. Centers for disease control and prevention. (2022). Retrieved 3 June 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html.
Fulgham, D. (2022). Tips for Parenting a Child With Autism. WebMD. Retrieved 3 June 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/parenting-child-with-autism.
Rudy, L. (2022). Learn the 6 Parenting Styles to Avoid When Raising an Autistic Child. Verywell Health. Retrieved 15 June 2022, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/parenting-styles-that-dont-work-with-an-autistic-child-259958.