Real World Autism Interventions for Children
If your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), you’re probably speculating on what comes next. There are several things you need to do as a parent to help your child with ASD, especially in making sure your child always gets the support they need.
After extensive research (still ongoing), several treatments were developed for treating ASD that help children acquire age-appropriate skills and overcome a wide variety of developmental challenges.
We believe that when the right treatment plan is coupled with love and support, it makes way for your child to learn, grow and thrive in whatever they choose to do in life. In this blog, we will discuss various real-world Autism interventions that parents should consider implementing:
Maintain consistency in your child’s environment:
Most children with ASD find it difficult to apply what they’ve learnt in any environment which is different from the environment in which they've learnt. You may be wondering, why your child is not using sign language at home, when he does so perfectly at school.
We recommend you create the same environment at home as that which your child experiences at school. Before doing this, it is advisable to talk to your child’s therapist as well. Ask them for a list of activities your child takes part in and try to replicate the same in your house. Find out if the therapy can be taken place in more than one place to help your child transfer what they’ve learnt from one to another (generalization). Please note that it is imperative to be consistent in the way you communicate with your child and deal with their challenging behaviors.
Follow a schedule:
Following a schedule helps children get familiar with their routine activities. Set up a daily schedule (visual schedule is preferable) with your child and follow a regular time for their meals, school, playtime, etc. Keep changes in the schedule to a minimum by reserving them only for unavoidable conditions. Always prepare your child in advance for any change.
Pay attention to nonverbal cues:
As you try and teach your child communication skills, you need to understand their language as well. Most children with ASD communicate with their facial expressions - they use certain gestures to show anger, love, hunger, etc. We recommend that parents stay vigilant and observant of any nonverbal cues they receive from the child.
Playtime is important
Play is an integral part of learning. There is more to life for children with ASD and their parents outside of regular therapy sessions. While you make a schedule, as we discussed earlier, schedule play times for when your child is most energetic. Sit with your child and figure out various activities that can help you have fun together. Don’t make these activities therapeutic or educational, but rather fun and relaxing.
Do not neglect your child’s sensory sensitivities
Children with ASD are sensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, smell. Talk to your child’s therapist and figure out what your child is most sensitive toward. Find out what upsets your child and what makes them happy. Have your child’s favorite toy or other items handy in order to calm them down. It’s crucial that parents observe their child and are keenly aware of what stresses them, calms them down or makes them happy.
For more information regarding sensory therapy, cognitive skills, behavior therapy, developmental disorders, and early intervention, please contact Stepping Stones Center. We emphasize on acquiring new and appropriate behaviors, while also working on helping the child achieve developmentally age-appropriate milestones through evidence-based practices.