Why You Should Let Autistic Children Just Be Kids – They Are Just Children After All!

It is a tough job being parents of autistic children and sometimes it can be hard to just let your child be a kid. It is easy to get wrapped up in everything to do with your child’s treatment that you can sometimes forget to let them have some fun. It is natural for a parent to just want to keep their child safe and with a special needs child a parent will become very protective.

You may be spending a great deal of your time at doctors or therapist appointments and not too much time just doing the things that kids do. So even though it is very important for you to keep your child safe and give them the best treatment you can, it is also important to allow time for them to do ‘kid stuff’.

Here are a few ideas of how to let your Autistic child just be a kid:

1. Everyone needs a break from daily routines sometimes and particularly for kids that spend a lot of time at doctors or doing therapy so make sure to put some time aside each day to let your child just do whatever they want to do. Most children will have favourite toys or activities that they like and it is important for your child to spend time doing their favourite things.

2. If there is something outside of the home that your child likes to do then try to plan the activity perhaps once a week. It could be something as simple as a trip to the beach or the park or even to visit grandparents. You can vary the activities each week and let your child pick the activity.

3. It is normal for children to run around and play in dirt, sand, mud and whatever else drives parents mad. This is good healthy fun and there is no reason why autistic children can’t join in with these activities also. Let them run and play just like other kids and in the long term this will help them to learn how to interact with other children.

4. Don’t hold your child back from anything because of their disorder. Don’t use their disorder as an excuse for them not being able to participate in things. If your child is happy to have a go at something then let them have a go. Many autistic people live reasonably normal lives and with the correct treatments and strategies in place you can help your child to live as normal a life as possible. Help to build their self esteem and teach them that they can do anything that they choose to do.

5. Do not let your child’s disorder be an excuse for bad behavior. Just as with any child an autistic child also needs boundaries and consequences for their behavior. You will only do your child more harm in the long term if you just let them get away with everything they do just because they are autistic. If you do this they will learn very quickly that they can do things and use their disorder as an excuse.

6. It is good for all children to have chores around the house and this includes your autistic child. As long as they are chores that the child is quite capable of doing then you will actually help to build up their self esteem as they can gain a sense of pride in completing their chores. A reward system can work well for doing chores and making them fun will encourage your child to make a habit of doing their chores.

7. Always encourage your child to do their best and do not just assume that they won’t be able to achieve things that normal children achieve. Give them lots of praise when they try new things and encourage them to reach their full potential.
Autistic children may have a disorder but they are still children and they need to live like any other kid. They need to run around, get dirty and they will even get hurt sometimes but that is all a part of growing up. So sometimes it is important just to let your autistic child just be a kid.

Autism Sibling Rivalry: How Brothers And Sisters Can Cope With Autistic Family Members

Something we have come across regularly is the difficultly dealing with the issues that our son has with his siblings. We have compiled some interesting information which we hope will be of some help.

When a family member is diagnosed with autism, there is a vast amount of information teaching parents how to cope with an autistic child, and there is also information for parents about dealing with an autistic child’s different behaviours. However, there are fewer learning tools for those who have an autistic sibling, infact its almost non existent, even though this is a very stressful situation for brothers and sisters of an autistic child. The following tips can help children cope with an autistic sibling.

It can not be ignored if it is severe due to the risk of harming a sibling, but it is possible to manage and does get easier as their siblings get older and can understand more about autism and what it is like for their brother or sister with autism.

Sometimes parents are so involved in preparing themselves and their autistic child for the transition ahead that they forget that their other children must also deal with the new situation. Often, siblings of an autistic child may feel the new situation acutely. They may feel neglected by parents or jealous of the autistic child who is now receiving more attention. Also, they may find their peers constantly teasing them about having an autistic sibling, which can lead to more stress. This may lead to behavioural issues, with the sibling acting out and becoming a “problem child” to receive attention. In some cases, the sibling may even try to hurt the autistic brother or sister in an attempt to remove him from the family environment.

However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, having an autistic sibling forces one to “grow up” and become responsible. There can be a strong emotional attachment to the autistic sibling and a keen desire to keep him or her safe in all situations. Furthermore, living with an autistic sibling can teach one to be more open about another person’s differences. In this way, having an autistic sibling is a life-enriching experience that pushes individuals to be emotionally and mentally stronger and to be more tolerant towards others in life.

One tip for siblings to cope with their autistic brother or sister is to find a support group. There should be resources available at the local chapter of the National Autism Society in the UK. This is especially important in helping siblings feel that they are not alone and isolated in this unfolding situation-others are dealing with the same sorts of problems. Also, try to increase family interaction. Schedule a regular family day or family night each week, where all children can spend time with parents or other family members and share their day or week experiences and any problems. The best thing to remember is to be open about how you are feeling. If children feel that their parents are neglecting some aspect of their life, simply asking them for a moment of their time is often the best solution. It is important for parents to be understanding towards their children’s needs for attention, whether they are autistic or not. Communication is the key to helping the entire family run smoothly.

Remember sibling rivalry is also part of growing up and can be normal within reason.

Our son with autism brings light to all those who are lucky enough to meet him.

An Autism Symptoms Checklist

People that suffer from autism seem to live in their own worlds, they reject any contact with other persons and they do not socialize at all. Unfortunately we know so little about this disorder so the only thing we can do for autistic people is to try to understand them and to make them feel good, because there is no known cause or cure for autism. Autism manifests itself soon after the birth of a child, and it’s important that the ones around him, usually the family or the teacher detect the ones affected and seek help for them. The sooner an autistic is discovered the better for him/her, because autistics need special treatment and they need to be supervised, for they are not aware of what is right and what is wrong in most cases.

But autism is a special condition, and it’s pretty hard to determine its symptoms so that you can recognize them. Autism is a term that refers to a wide-area of disorders with many signs and symptoms. We can only hope that in the future a treatment for autism will be found, but until then we need to discover the autistic persons early so that they are treated properly d no problems occur. Here follows an autism symptoms checklist that contains all the signs that were noticed in multiple cases of autism and therefore are the most common:

-autistics have great problems with speaking, they can’t express themselves because their language skills are very poor

-they are avoiding to touch or to be touched by other people; they also avoid any eye contact

-they don’t like the company of others and they like to be alone, they have their own world

-autistic children play very different from the other children and their way of playing seems strange

-they have an increased sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises

-sometimes they seem to be deaf and they don’t even respond to their own name

-they focus at a single object for hours

-they appear to have a reduced sensitivity to pain but they don’t show any fear in some cases, for example if a car travelling at high-speed is heading straight in their direction

-the children who suffer from autism don’t like to cuddle and they don’t smile if they are smiled at

This autism symptoms checklist contains the most encountered symptoms of the disorder but autism manifests differently from case to case so it does not have a certain pattern. But if you see that a child presents at least 3 or 4 signs mentioned above then there are chances that he is autistic.

Autism And Its Generated Behavioral And Mental Impairments

Autism is a complex neurological disorder that dramatically affects people’s behaviors and social interactions. The disorder can be revealed in early childhood, by the age of 3. Although the first signs of autism can sometimes be identified in infants, the disorder is usually discovered at a later stage of life. Autistic children present a wide range of behavioral abnormalities, and they can be easily identified among normal children. While normal young children long for the presence of their parents and love to play in the company of other kids, autistic children are very indifferent, showing no interest to the people around them.

Egocentrism is a major behavioral characteristic of children with autism, who may even ignore the presence of their mothers or caretakers, avoiding any form of interaction with them. In early childhood, autistics develop repetitive, stereotype behaviors and become very upset if their routine is perturbed. In many cases, autistic children may also engage in self-harm activities such as head-banging.

The communication skills of autistic children are also impaired. While some children with autism may refuse to speak at all, others experience pronounced difficulties in expressing themselves. Autistics are generally withdrawn, passive, and low-responsive. In many cases, they even avoid making eye contact with other people.

Autism can be anywhere from mild to very pronounced. Children who suffer from milder forms of autism are usually very intelligent. For this category of children, the disorder only affects their emotional intelligence and their social interaction skills, leaving their judgment intact. Hence, while these children may have poor adaptation and social interaction skills, they may have a very good logic, excelling at math or in other similar areas. In many cases, autistics may even have remarkable talent for visual arts or music. At the opposite pole, children with severe autism also suffer from mental retardation. The development of mentally retarded autistic children is very slow and these children rarely make any progress.

Although the exact causes of autism haven’t yet been identified by medical science, it is believed that genetic factors have a very important role in the occurrence of the disorder. Autism involves abnormalities at the level of the central nervous system which are suspected to occur on the premises of genetic dysfunctions.

Considering the fact that there is no cure for autism, medical treatments available today can’t reverse the neurological damage caused by the disorder. However, what medical treatments can do is to minimize the undesirable effects of autism. If children with autism are prescribed an appropriate medical treatment, their development can be supported and their symptoms can be kept under control.

With the aid of medical treatments and the support of their families, autistic children can eventually be integrated into the society.

Autism Therapy Methods

Until today, no real cure for autism has been detected. But an early and proper treatment could very much lessen the disruptive behavior and reduce the challenges parents and physicians deal with due to the disorder. An appropriate treatment might help autistic patients to learn, develop certain skills and get a specific rate of independency.

Autism can be treated by occupational therapy that tries to improve patient’s basic skills and functions like getting dressed on their own, bathing or eating alone. Body movements can also be helped by different physical exercises such as massaging.

A first step in the autism treatment is helping these children to modify and improve their behavior, which is usually lead by aggressiveness, repetitive and inappropriate actions. A new behavioral modification method is the Applied Behavior Analysis based on the main idea that patients are more likely to repeat a rewarded action than an ignored one. Autistic children are helped to learn hoe to sustain normal functions inside their environment.

The behavior modification methods deal with highly professional ways of inducing certain skills. All patients must learn how to react and behave in a society; every particular child needs a different therapy method according to his needs and interests. A full time intense care with a therapist and a caretaker is required for every single patient.

Most autistics cannot integrate senses and suffer either from a hypo- or from hyperactivity of the sensor integrating organs. Sensor therapy is usually performed by physical, occupational and speech therapists; they all must work together to erase wrong further accumulated sensor information and induce reorganized sensory knowledge.

In case of problems dealing with the touch sense, the autistic patient will be helped to learn working with different kind of materials and different textures. Listening to several sounds with different frequencies might help autistics integrate noises. Many autistic children suffer from a hyper-reactivity to sounds and even receive them as painful. Therapists must carefully observe and understand the sensor needs of the patient in order to establish an efficient treatment.

Autistic children are most often emotionally reduced and this estate affects also their social communication skills and desire. Therapists usually use a playing technique controlled by the child to help the improvement of their emotional development. Educational social stories are used to help patients understand their own feelings and manage with them. They are also taught to understand others ideas and points of view.

Another behavior modification method is the communication therapy to teach small children with autistic disorders how to develop their language and show elder patients how to use verbal communication. A sustained speech therapy could even help some of the children to use language to communicate with the others.

Autistic sufferers are taught hoe to express ideas, wishes or concerns by using pictures. The picture exchange communication system allows autistics to interact with others by pictures representing ideas, items or even activities.