How to care for autism becomes your priorotied search when you have a child is diagnosed with autism. You might be panic and confused, searching through autism websites relentlessly for an answer.
What is autism?
Autism is a shorter way of saying autism spectrum disorder. Very often it is referred to as ASD or ASD spectrum. It is an extensive and complex neurodevelopmental disability that at least affects a person’s ability to communicate or interact with others. Because it is a broad-range condition that is considered as a spectrum, it acts on individuals very variously.
What are the signs of autism?
Identifying the signs of autism is an essential awareness of learning how to care for autism.
Early signs for autism in toddlers might not be as obvious as the ones in older children and adults, but the following symptoms are more likely considered the autistic signs for them.
- Not responsive to his/her name
- Repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking, spinning, or running back & forth
- Poor eye contact
- Sensitive to sound, light, and touch
- No spoken language
Besides the above, the signs of autism in older children and adults might extend to:
- No facial expressions.
- Poor gestures
- The poor tone of voice
- Delayed speech development
- The inability of social interaction
- Obsessive behaviors such as self-talk or repeating the same line
- The inflexibility of change such as no interest in trying new food, disturbed by changed schedules
- Learning disabilities in most subjects
What is the cause of autism?
If the cause for autism is definite, how to care for autism might become more straightforward. Sadly at present, no experts in the world can confirm this question. There is no one known cause for autism. Research suggests that autism is most likely caused by the accumulated complications from genetic elements that are triggered by environmental factors.
Genetically speaking, a child is a DNA product of the parents. He/she inherits genes from the parents. It wouldn’t be suggested differently with the genetic elements for autism. But the intriguing part is why the child is autistic while/if neither of the parents is? This is what the roles are played by environmental factors.
Environmental factors include at least parents’ ages, parents’ physical, mental, and living/working conditions before conceiving, and mother’s physical, mental, and living/working conditions during the pregnancy and the child’s living environment before being diagnosed.
In conclusion, Autism is most likely originated from genetic facets combined with environmental aspects to the extreme exhibition of genes.
What are the treatments for autism?
When thinking about how to care for autism, most people ask this question in a sense hoping that there was ONE treatment to heal autism. Unfortunately, there is no one treatment that can cure autism. Subsequently, the question becomes “what are the treatments for autism?”.
As of now, autism professionals don’t believe autism is curable. The effort in discovering effective treatments for autism is ongoing every day. Due to the complexities of the causes for autism, the treatments for autism become more unpredictable than any other condition, and the result of each treatment can be very different from one person to another. Overall, the early diagnosis and the early interventions can boost the outcome greatly.
The following treatments are most widely used,
- Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA)
- Speech Therapy
- Behavioral Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Sleep Therapy
- Nutritional Therapy
- Functional medicine
How do I prepare for this journey?
It is crucial that you stay mentally strong and physically fit to be able to help your child on the path to improvement.
- This is a marathon and patience is the key. Very few autistic aspects can be improved within days, even weeks. It takes months even years to improve certain skills. You are not just a mother/parent. You also become a teacher, a therapist, and an advocate.
- It takes a ton of energy out of you to care for an autistic child. You need to be physically well to be able to get out of bed and be motivated to help your child.
- Practice self-empathy and self-compassion. You will be judged and embarrassed by the behaviors of your child from time to time. Let people know your child’s condition. You are on the special fight stage to become a stronger human being.
- It is a rewarding journey. Believe in “God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle”. At the end of the day, you will be satisfied if you have done your best. Your child will live his life to the fullest.
How to help an autistic child?
Depending on what state you live in, and your child’s severity of autism and physical conditions, some of the following steps might be more important than others.
- Study your child well. Learn your child’s patterns or habits in eating, dressing, sleeping, and behaving.
- Get medical experts to minimize underlying medical conditions that might cause certain behaviors beyond being autistic.
- Implement safety plans. Provide swimming lessons for your child for water safety and a safety-proof house to make sure your child doesn’t have easy access to wander away.
- Learn your rights and your child’s rights in special education in your state.
- Advocate the best-individualized education plan for your child through the recommendations of autism professionals.
- Stay in frequent communications and close contact with the teacher/aids and therapists in the school that your child attends.
- Remain consistent with approach and discipline from school to home. This includes healthy food choices, routine exercises, and rewards for good behaviors.
- Keep the bar high. Don’t settle for less if your child can do more.
- Follow our home care strategies or create your own if “official” therapies don’t do enough for your child.
- Use the resources to build a team to support you. You will need the help to stay energized. Respite care and autism parent communities are of great choice.
- Stay connected socially. It is important that you and your child have a connection with family, friends, and supporters from the community.
- Get ready for transitions. From toddler to teenage to adulthood, more new behaviors or issues come up when transitioning to different age stages. Be sensitive to the changes while hoping every transition builds with new milestones.
- Vision your child’s future and plan financial security for your child if needed and if you can. It provides peace of mind for you every day
How can A.C.E. help?
We are only one email away with your questions! Don’t hesitate to ask! Our biggest goal here is to help you navigate through this special journey by providing easy-to-understand answers to the most concerning questions. They are not meant to diagnose or treat your child alone, but rather to assist you to understand the notions of how to care for autism if your child is diagnosed with the spectrum by professionals. Follow up on all related posts, and you are well-equipped to help your child thrive!