What is Autism?
Autism means that the child faces many obstacles within themselves that halt their ability to learn, behave, and interact with others. More often than not, people find it difficult to help autistic children because they do not have experience or confidence that the child could benefit from their assistance. Here are a few pieces of advice for those struggling.
Your Child is Your Child
Not all children are cut from the same mold, and not all cases of autism are the same. Every child is different: it is important to find out how. Discover your child’s personal quirks and build from them. Use those quirks to develop ways to communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. Children with autism communicate through their behavior. Understand the behavior, and you can understand your child. That is where the help can really begin.
It’s All About Structure
By creating structure in whatever you do, the child’s stress is greatly reduced. Structure provides them with safety and relief from the confusion provided by the every day world. Building structure means that the parent needs to provide consistency in the household: make sure they know what is going to happen, when, and why. Stick to that schedule and reward their good behavior. By providing them with structure, you are also building off of them and giving them the environment needed to grow, as well as foster their independence.
A Plan for Them
Once you know your child’s own quirks and have created their own structure, you can continue by planning a treatment plan just for them. The plan consists of the previously established structure, medication, if any, treatment, if any, and constantly adhering to your child’s individual needs. By asking what their strengths and weaknesses are, a full-fledged treatment plan isn’t far behind.
Types of Intervention: Many Options
Remember that plans can take all shapes and forms. One education option is the DTI, or the Discrete Trial Instruction. The DTI plan teaches children different skill sets in a one-on-one setting. They are given instructions and rewarded based on their response. Another option is the Developmental Intervention. Instead of being given instruction, the child is placed in a structured environment that sets the child up to initiate the desired behavior. You could choose a Naturalistic Activity-Based Instruction, which combines DTI and Developmental Intervention.
According to Rita Myers, who finished the Doctor of OTD program at RMU, “Occupational therapists always strive to further a patient’s functional independence.” Occupational therapists are there to help people master the day-to-day tasks they may find difficult. They hope to push people to being comfortable with the wider community through their help. Find an occupational therapist to help your child or find a way to study at www.rmuohp.com.
Go For It!
There is always a way to help someone you care about; never give up on them! Don’t worry about doing too much; these are only a few options here to help your children be the best they can be. These options, as well as finding a great occupational therapist, will really help your child for now and for the future.