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What Not to Do With an Autistic Child: How to Nurture Their Development

What Not to Do With an Autistic Child: How to Nurture Their Development

The life of a parent is tough and very challenging all on its own, but the added factor of autism in children might make it be a bit more difficult than usual. Behavior-wise, managing children with autism may be more challenging, and parents will need help answering some questions. How do you support an autistic child? What not to do with an autistic child?

The key to helping your children is by first understanding their condition and why they behave as they do. You may do this by seeking medical advice and learning about how to reach out appropriately to your child.

Why do children with autism behave differently?

Most children with autism might be prone to refusing or ignoring requests that the parent asks for. In social and public settings, inappropriate behavior may occur, like the child taking off their clothes in public, or behaving aggressively for seemingly no reason. This can potentially lead to unintentional self-harm.

Autism causes difficulty in understanding the world, which, of course, may lead to a child feeling frustrated or scared. Among the reasons children may respond the way they do are due to:

  • Missing communication cues
  • Difficulty in expressing wants and needs
  • Overwhelming sensory activities
  • Unmet expectations
  • Exhaustion

What not to do with an autistic child? Do’s and don’ts

What to do, and what not to do with an autistic child? Here are a few do’s and don’ts that might help you in becoming a better parent to your child with autism.

Baby steps

Do: Focus on one thing at a time. If you’re trying to correct or manage your child’s behavior, especially in public, it would be best to tackle things one by one so that the child does not feel overwhelmed.

Don’t: Overload your child with responsibilities. This can cause them to be overwhelmed, and act out.

Changes

Do: Make small changes when you can. If you have a predictable routine every day, stick to it. Change the routine if it affects your child negatively. But do so slowly, as not to further upset the child.

Don’t: Don’t make drastic changes. Big, new things can overwhelm and upset your child, which can cause more unusual behavior.

Communicating

Do: Try to get help when you can. Parents can’t know everything on their own and it’s advised to ask for help from professionals or friends who have personal experience. Consult your doctor as well on how you can deal with certain situations.

Don’t: Improvise. Improvisation is a good skill, but not here. Since autistic children tend to lean towards a routine better, introducing brand new things that are unusual to them is upsetting, and will ruin chances of communication even more.

What not to do with an autistic child: Don’t be inconsistent

Establishing a regular routine that is predictable can be something that is extremely helpful.

Autistic children are a little bit more sensitive to the world and everything in it. It’s not their fault and we can’t blame them for that – what we can do is love and support them all throughout their life, and help them develop into better and happier people.

Key takeaway

What not to do with an autistic child? Don’t be inconsistent, or make sweeping and sudden changes to their routine. Autistic children learn best with a routine, and by focusing on one thing at a time. Consult with healthcare professionals for support, as you raise your children.

Learn more about Behavioral and Developmental Disorders here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Disciplining Your Child With Special Needs

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/discipline-special.html

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Raising a Child with Autism: A Developmental Perspective on Family Adaptation

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40474-014-0037-z

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Challenging behaviour: autistic children and teenagers

https://raisingchildren.net.au/autism/behaviour/understanding-behaviour/challenging-behaviour-asd

 Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Discipline strategies for autistic children and teenagers

https://raisingchildren.net.au/autism/behaviour/common-concerns/discipline-for-children-teens-with-asd

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Keep Kids with Autism Safe from Wandering: Tips from the AAP

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/Autism/Pages/Autism-Wandering-Tips-AAP.aspx

Accessed April 20, 2021

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Written by Kirsten Rocamora Updated 3 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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