Incidences of autism are estimated at 1 in 68 live births. If your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it can be frightening and frustrating. Keep in mind that more is known about autism now than ever before, and your child can succeed with help.
Remember That Every Case Is Different
Autism is different for every child. People with autism are often stereotyped as nonverbal, constantly stimming, and unable to care for themselves or socialize. This is a worst-case scenario and is often based in ignorance. In reality, many children with autism are highly verbal with average to above average intelligence. Some children with ASD do have trouble socializing and functioning independently, but they can overcome these obstacles with proper support.
Learn All You Can
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you can help your child. Educate yourself about treatment options such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), cognitive behavioral therapy, and physical and occupational therapy. Determine how much therapy you think your child will need, and balance therapy with family time and leisure time.
Many children with autism thrive on routine and structure. Keep disruptions to a minimum at home. Make sure your child’s teacher is prepared for an autistic child in his or her classroom.
Catch Them Doing Well
Praise children with ASD for specific good behaviors, such as acting appropriately or learning something new. Use special interests as a reward for good behavior, but interests and favorite things shouldn’t be exclusively tied to the way your child behaves.