Raising a child with autism brings challenges beyond everyday parental responsibilities (duties, roles). Most children on the autism spectrum struggle with change. A child with Autism prefers a solid routine driven lifestyle where every moment goes as they anticipate. The sad reality about life is that we cannot control the uncontrollable. This means we need to help our children deal with change. There are a few things parents can do to help their autistic child with change. Here are a few ways you can work towards helping your child adapt to change without having a full blown meltdown.
Raising a Child with Autism – How to Help Your Child Deal with Change
Visual Routine Charts
One concept that has worked well with children that have autism is visual routine charts. Consider purchasing some poster board or a pocket chart and have your child’s schedule listed daily or weekly. This visual routine chart will prepare your child for their day and allow them to understand what they will be doing that day.
Introduce New Daily Activity
While running off a visual schedule chart, you can also work each day to introduce a change into their routine. This change may be minimal, but just enough to help them cope with a change so that they learn to be more accommodating to future changes in their routine or life. Try to minimize frequent changes.
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Prepare for an Outing
The best way to help your child deal with change is to prepare them. Let’s say you are heading to the store today with your child, but you know they need to be aware of this earlier on in the day. Allow your child at least one hour to get used to the idea that you will be going on an outing together. Continue to give them time checks like “in 15 minutes we will have to leave” and then again when you have 5 minutes. This gives them time to adjust and mentally prepare.
How to Help a Child with Autism
Children learn best through an example from their elders and peers and through storytelling. Consider reading books each day to your children that address the topic of change, feelings, and unpredictability in life. When you read books with your children, it will help them to see that life changes will happen and it is okay.
Always Remain Calm
As the parent of a child who doesn’t handle change very well, you must remember to stay calm. Your calming presence will help reduce the onset of a meltdown when a change occurs. Children with autism tend to be more sensitive to the energy of others surrounding them, and perhaps your calming nature will help offset a meltdown.
See how we include peace into our homeschooling room.
Click here for more on how to deal with overstimulation as a parent.
There you have it; a few ways you can help teach children to deal with change when raising a child on the autism spectrum. Remember not each option will work for every child, but consider implementing some of the ideas to see which ones will work best for your child.
Tips for Parenting a Child with Autism
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