Breaking Through Barriers When Parenting a Child with Autism
Parenting a child on the Autism spectrum comes with so many rewards, but it can also come with unique stresses as well. Your child may see and experience the world so differently from others, and that can be such a beautiful thing. It’s important to strike a balance between nurturing that uniqueness and helping your child adapt to challenges. To make this task easier, here are some simple solutions to some of the most common autism dilemmas.
Better Sleep Can Help with Autism Anxiety
Anxiety is a prevalent issue with children and adults on the spectrum, and sleep issues are as well. These two problems are tightly connected, because a lack of sleep can lead to more severe feelings of anxiety, especially in social situations. Bedroom routines do not always help, so it’s important for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to create a calming atmosphere in the bedroom, using soothing lighting and clutter-controlling storage.
The colors in your child’s room can also impact their relaxation abilities as well. Color and mood are closely connected, with bold colors often inspiring more energy and emotion. Since that’s not what you want at bedtime, opt for softer color schemes in the bedroom to help your child release stress and fall asleep more quickly.
If your child consistently has issues falling asleep, alternative treatments like CBD oil could help relieve some of their anxiety, and allow them to get the sleep they need. While it’s still a controversial topic, it’s one many parents are turning to as research continues to point to CBD oil as a valid option for helping with autism. If you think this is something worth pursuing, talk to your doctor first and be sure to research reputable brands before making a purchase.
Communication and Art Are Crucial for Social Skills
For many children with ASD, interactions with others can be very stressful. Showing your child how to cope with that stress will mean improved social connections as an adult, so incorporate a few proven strategies into your daily routine together. With children on the spectrum, this means modeling acceptable social behaviors and taking the time to explain your actions. That extra little step is critical in helping children with autism fully absorb key social skills.
Incorporating art therapy into your child’s routine can also help facilitate a deeper understanding of other people’s perspectives and give your child another channel to communicate with the world. It’s important to allow your child to create with minimal boundaries so that they can also reap the stress-relieving benefits of art while learning important social and sensory lessons. If, however, your child seems to get overly frustrated or aggressive with you, other people, or themselves, it may be best to consult a behavioral therapist. These highly-trained specialists are equipped to help your child progress out of destructive behavior and to equip you with more tools to help defuse problematic behaviors.
Sensory Processing Can Be Improved with Play
Another common ASD marker that parents should address is issues with sensory processing. Every child with autism is different when it comes to sensory development. Some children may experience minimal sensory processing problems, while others may need help integrating sensory systems such as motor functions, tactile perception, and spatial recognition.
While therapy should be used to fully address these development issues, you can also help your child adapt with sensory play. Sensory-friendly toys can be a valuable tool for children with sensory integration disorder, especially since there are toys specifically made to address issues with different sensory systems. Toys designed for these special needs can help your child improve coordination, motor skills and overall environmental perception. You may also be interested in setting up some sensory activities to help your child adjust. Using ingredients and objects around your home, you can help your child craft cloud paint or kinetic sand to aid in the processing of sensory experiences.
Seeing the world through your child’s eyes can be a transformative experience, but it’s also important to give children the tools to cope with the world around them. Solving common ASD behavioral and developmental issues can bridge that need, and make living with autism less stressful for your little one.
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