It is important to understand that autism, by its nature is not a hopeless cause. A child being an autistic just makes him special and at some cases really bright! Although, taking care of an autistic child may at times be very challenging or frustrating, we should always remember that these children have different needs. With this in mind, a slightly different approach should be used when taking care of them.
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Several studies have been made and general characteristics have been defined on how an autistic child acts. Learning from these studies and understanding what the behaviors of an autistic child is, is very essential if taking care of them is your goal. These are the things that you should consider when taking care of an autistic child:
- They Take Comfort in Routine
Autistic children take comfort in routine or the things that they are familiar with. It is important to understand that if their routine is disrupted, this causes them frustration leading to outbursts or tantrums. On the flip side of the coin, using this angle when teaching an autistic child something can be very helpful. So if you want to teach or instill a characteristic to an autistic child, try to include it on his/her daily routine.
- Constant Praise
Praising the child gives them a sense of being a part of the community. It’s very normal for autistic children not to look you in the eye and for them to be aloof. Leaving them like that will inadvertently cause themselves to be detached from the community. That in itself can be very harmful to the child. Autistic children (as mentioned above) are big with routine. If it becomes routine for them to be alone, they’d end up getting tantrums every time they are encouraged to build a connection with the society.
- Emphasize on Communication
Teaching the child how to communicate or practicing the autistic child’s communication skill is very important. Since the child by nature is aloof to the community, the tendency of the autistic child having limited friends is very probable. This is especially true for autistic children that has a problem with speaking (others don’t even speak at all). There are different ways of communicating with an autistic child; it can either be done through sign language or with the use of visual aids. Note that this is a very important aspect on the child’s life. If he\she doesn’t communicate with others while he\she’s still young, he might end-up closing himself-up from the world.
Clearly, dealing with an autistic child can be very different and difficult but at the same time be very rewarding as well. What you should remember is that the autistic children has different needs and they require more attention since they aren’t very aware (sometimes oblivious) of what’s happening to their surroundings.
The bottom line is, no matter how challenging, they are still a gift worth nurturing and taking care of. Be patient. Persevere. Nothing worth achieving is ever easy!