Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder. It affects how person interact and communicate with others. Children with autism pick up on things differently than other children. Follow these dos and don’ts when dealing with autistic person to guide positive interactions.
Your child may not pick up on the irritation in your voice when you ask them not to do something. These misunderstandings can make traditional discipline techniques less effective. Your child might not understand the consequences of their actions, which can be frustrating. However, you should refrain from any kind of physical or verbal punishment that could have a negative effect on your child.
Instead, be gentle with your words and actions. If your child is screaming and having a tantrum, keep calm and don’t raise your voice. All children learn through imitation, so try and respond to your child’s behavior clearly and gently.
Give them love and respect
Sometimes children with autism, frequently require hugs. They may require hugs more frequently than other children. However, some autistic children dislike being touched at all, and even minimal contact might cause them distress. Be considerate of their personal space. Never force physical affection on a child who does not want it.
Consistency is the key to effective discipline
Most children with autism respond well to structured discipline, perhaps due to their desire for sameness and routine. Consistent discipline can also alleviate some of your child’s anxiety, a common characteristic of autism. Consistent outcomes help children feel secure and confident in their choices.
If your child knows what to expect from a certain behavior, they may not feel as overwhelmed when you discipline them. Consistency gives your child the ability to predict the outcome of a situation, which is a powerful and necessary step toward independence.
Learn from your child
Your child's special needs and abilities may open your eyes to a new perspective on the world. Tough times always hits, although enjoy every moment with your child and learn from them about the world we have never seen.
Don’t blame yourself
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the only method with over 50 years of clinically proven data and the US Surgeon General has validated for autismLearning that your child is autistic is traumatic for parents, and it’s easy for them to blame themselves or each other, either for producing ‘bad’ genes or for neglecting the child due to work commitments.
However, parents need to realize that they are not to blame. Instead, parents should look towards playing a supportive role that can empower them in aiding their child, rather than blame themselves.
Don't force people
Don't force people to do things they say no to, such as eating something extremely spicy or touching a texture they find overwhelming.
Don't be an expert
You don't have to be an expert to help autistic people feel more comfortable around you.
Don't let an autism diagnosis completely define your child
The earlier a child with autism gets help, the better their chances of a successful outcome. Yet, don’t let an autism diagnosis completely define your child because every child with autism is special and they might have different development, talents.
Don't let the autism diagnosis, or the attention you provide to your child with autism, consume your family life, especially if you have other children
Children with autism need special attention, especially from their parents. However, if you’re a parent of two children; don’t ignore your other child to give attention to a child with autism. This might break the bonding between family members. Treat all children equally and create bonding within each family member.
The approach for an adult should be more direct because they may not understand the “hints” in our language while the approach for children requires more patience and for adults to facilitate the consequences of social situations.
There are no differences between the way you interact with people with autism or other a non-disabled person. Individuals with autism can interact with people normally; they only need more patience and explanation with an unfamiliar situation.