An example of compassionate parenting would be taking the time to understand your child, showing them compassion, and accepting them unconditionally. It is particularly beneficial for families who have a child with autism. This article aims to provide families with practical strategies and resources to foster a compassionate and nurturing environment for their children with autism.
CDC data shows that in the United States, autism spectrum disorders are prevalent among 1 in 150 children in 2000 and 1 in 68 children in 2012. It has been suggested that in some areas of the country, ASD prevalence is closer to 1 in 54 children, according to new research by CDC (Centers for Disease Control) 2020. Here are ten strategies Tali Engor advised for parents and families who have an autistic child in their home.
- Realize you are good enough.
Every parent of an autistic child should receive a parenting merit badge. It’s like learning a foreign language – but in parenting. In some cases, it can be overwhelming and challenging. Numerous resources are available to parents to help their children develop, but they worry they are not doing enough for their children. A happy and supportive parent is all your child needs, not the perfect one. In addition to being difficult, raising an autistic child will empower you and make you a better person.
- Maintain a Structured Routine
Children with autism flourish on structure and predictability, so creating a consistent daily routine can help them feel better and reduce anxiety about their surroundings.
- Provide Adequate Sensory Supports
It is one of the autistic features standard in children: sensory sensitivities. Ensure your child has a safe space with calming sensory supports, such as weighted blankets or noise-canceling headphones.
- Exceed the boundaries
It would be best to take your child out of their comfort zone by making it easy. Do not go to the same park or restaurant daily from the same route. You can take alternative ways to reach the destinations like school or park so he could play in different parks. It will help broaden his horizons and allow him to enjoy himself better than expected.
- Establish Clear Communication Systems
Teach your child sign language or visual supports to enhance their communication skills. It can help them express their needs and preferences more effectively.
- Developmental limits
Developmental milestones are based on normal growing children, so don’t assume age limits for your child that he won’t reach developmental milestones. You need to understand that when your child is developmentally, they will grow on their timeline and may be slower than others. All you have to do is to celebrate his little achievements and never give up on them.
- Embrace Individuality
Celebrate your child’s unique strengths and interests. Foster an environment where they can explore their passions, such as art, music, or nature.
- Encourage Social Skills Development
Engage in social activities with your child, such as playdates or group activities. Help them develop social skills by modeling positive interactions and providing opportunities for practice.
- Promote Self-Care
Please encourage your child to engage in self-care activities promoting emotional well-being. It could involve activities such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature.
- Plan for Potential Triggers
Identify potential triggers for your child’s behavior and create strategies to mitigate them in advance. It could involve creating a sensory-friendly environment or providing visual schedules for transitions.