Again, at the age of three my parents were able to put a name to his condition. My mother said she felt a lot of different emotions when she learned of his condition. As a mother we want to envision our children living normal lives, growing up to do great things. Even though autism is not a death sentence, she knew any sense of normalcy would be difficult for him. Once a child is diagnosed with autism assessments and interventions should begin. The options available should be fully explained to parents of autistic children. Early intervention can help with the developmental and behavioral stages.
My mother began therapy for my brother as soon as she was informed of his condition. Over the years he was able to communicate the things he wanted and or needed without acting out in frustration. Autism and Speaker’s syndrome lead to delays in a child’s development. Working consistently with your child and providing outside help has a great benefit on children with either Autism or Speaker’s syndrome. Research shows the most rigorously tested and effective interventions are the behavioral ones such as Applied Behavior Analysis, Lavas Program, and Positive Behavior Support.
I believe the most difficult aspect of dealing with an autistic child would be their outburst. As a child I would have to watch my younger brothers and sister while my mother worked. There were times when my brother would throw a temper tantrum because he didn’t like a certain food or he wanted to watch a certain television show. He would kick and bite himself or even charge at us to release frustration. I can recall my brother pinning another brother against the wall because he wanted to watch The Price Is Right.
That is just an example of what we had to endure growing up with an autistic brother. Over the years his outburst weren’t as frequent due to therapy he learned to speak what he wanted not to mention his medication also helped calm him down. Developmental intervention has proven to be effective by conducting the following research: Developmental Social Pragmatic Model (ADS? ) this is an approach to take a step further than the contemporary ABA models with emphasis on the importance of initiation and spontaneity in communication.
Responsive teaching (ART) is a comprehensive parent-mediated intervention curriculum for children from birth to six years of age who have, or are at-risk for child development and social emotional problems. Floor time is a developmental comprehensive program to promote healthy development and to help infants and children with a variety of developmental challenges including Autism Spectrum Disorder (SAD). Last but not least, Relationship Development Intervention. RID is a family-based, behavioral treatment designed to address autism’s core symptoms.
For example, the six objectives for RID are: emotional referencing, social coordination, declarative language, flexible thinking, relational information processing and foresight and hindsight. It takes a lot of support when dealing with an autistic child to overcome their challenges. My mother would need time for herself to regroup and just relax at times. The day to day challenges raising my brother could become overwhelming. The following tips were confirmed by my mother as being helpful when coping with an autistic child. Consistency helps autistic children adapt to mom life, school as well as therapy environments.
When being consistent it allows the child to develop a familiar routine. My brother became very frustrated when he was out of his normal routine. Rewarding good behavior is positive reinforcement and it goes a long way. My brother loved McDonald’s chicken nuggets and anything sweet. He would sometimes reward himself with all the treats in the house to the point we would have to hide them from him. Learning the language of an autistic child is very important. Autistic children communicate with you even when he or she never speaks.
Paying attention to their facial expressions and gestures they use when they are hungry, tired or want something is very helpful. Try to figure out the need behind the tantrum. Throwing temper tantrums are a way of communicating their frustrations and getting your attention. As I had mentioned before, my brother would throw a temper tantrum no matter the place. The public tantrums were the most difficult to handle. There should be time made for fun. Pay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities. Children with autism are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste and smell.