Children with Autism and Structure
There have been a lot of studies and a lot of research into what is causing so many young people to have autism. Currently there really is no explanation only a lot of theories. As one of those parents with a child on the autism spectrum I know how hard it is to have a child with autism. It is not an easy, the special meals, specific vitamins, and structure that we have to provide all take their toll on us. However, with the improvements to those children the results are phenomenal. Much of the results leave even the most brilliant medical professionals scratching their heads.
There are many things that children with autism need. One of the most important things is structure. Without it children on the autism spectrum can become easily overwhelmed. The need to feel safe and secure can become so overwhelming for them that it can cause chaos. There are a few things that I have learned throughout the years raising my own son that have helped him feel safe and secure. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Pictures. One thing that really has help in the communication department is pictures. These pictorial drawings or pictures were setup in a special location in the home. We taught him his schedule by allowing him to refer to the pictures on a daily basis. This can be for waking up eating breakfast, going to therapy, school, work, and other activities that you have planned for the day. By allowing him to see the schedule and his ability to refer to it he understood what was going to happen next and this allowed him to feel more relaxed and secure in his routine.
2. Safe. Children always want to feel safe. There was always a special place in my son’s room where he would go to relax and feel comfortable. This was his special place that he could use to unwind, play, or anything else he wanted to do. The biggest thing about this is to let your children know that even if someplace are off limits that this is the best place to go if you feel overwhelmed. It could be a favorite chair, corner, or part of the floor. Where ever it is let him choose it and then reinforce that it is his special spot.
3. With autistic children having a consistent schedule is one of the most important things as a parent you can do. Always remain consistent with your child with autism. Do not make a decision about one thing and then change your mind later on. Being consistent with them will allow them the structure they need to feel safe and secure.
Your child is going to look for you for direction and commitment. So, always remember that your actions will be looked to by them for comfort and security. Following these simple 3 steps will help ensure that they have that feeling of wellbeing that autism spectrum children need.