Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder are frequently advised on what to do for their kids, how to parent, and so on.
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This is where the second part of the book begins: developing a comprehensive treatment plan that includes not only child behavior issues, but also cognitive and emotional development.
Working with their local school psychologist to come up with an individualized program for all members of the family may help parents understand how best to address their children’s problem behaviors and boost their skills and talents.
The least discussed recommendations pertain to what parents should not do with a kid with autism.
Of course, you are the most knowledgeable on your child and each one is different, so what works for one kid may not be appropriate for another; but, generally speaking, there are a few things to keep in mind that are not advised for youngsters with autism.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the things that parents and other caregivers, such as teachers or daycare providers, should avoid doing when it comes to caring for and educating a kid with autism spectrum disorder.
Expectations Must Be Specific or Defined
It’s not useful for kids with autism if the adult who is caring for them, such as their parent or teacher, doesn’t have clear expectations.
When a kid with autism doesn’t know what is expected of them, they are more likely to have challenging behaviors and it may be more difficult for them to learn and grow properly.
There are two distinct methods to communicating expectations for children with autism that should be considered.
The first method for parents to set expectations for kids with ASD is based on the child’s daily activities, such as what the parent wants the kid to accomplish in any given day.
This might be a result of parental expectations regarding the child’s day-to-day self-care habits, such as expecting them to brush their teeth and keep their environment clean as well as to respect other people and use words instead of harsh phrases when requesting for things they desire.
These things can be used by parents in conjunction with their children to establish clear expectations that will assist kids obtain life skills and curb maladaptive behaviors.
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The second approach to setting expectations for children on the autism spectrum has to do with what the caregiver expects and wants for the child’s future.
For example, if a kid is transitioning from being an infant to becoming a teenager, the parent may have concerns about how he or she will transition into adulthood.
These might be anything ranging from how the parent views his or her child’s passage to adulthood to what the parent would want for their kid once he or she graduated high school.
Expectations and ideas for the child’s future life offered by parents have an impact on their kid’s life.
Of course, it’s critical to think about what the kid wants and what is in the child’s best interests, rather than simply what the parent desires. Regardless of what the parent does, their actions, attitudes, beliefs, values, and expectations will have an impact on their child in one way or another.
The beliefs that parents have about their children’s future, including their academic success, employment status, independent living, and even social interactions, correlate with the results that children achieve (Holmes et al., 2018).
Not Recognizing the Behavioral Conflicts in Play
It’s critical for parents of kids on the autism spectrum to comprehend their children’s actions.
When parents are aware of what is influencing their child to act a certain way, whether it’s what causes a behavior or what maintains or encourages one, it can be quite beneficial.
The antecedents and consequences of a behavior are at the core of behavioral science, which includes applied behavior analysis. This process is studied by identifying the antecedents and outcomes to a behavior in behavior science, including applied behavior analysis.
Antecedents are events that occur before the behavior, and consequences are events that follow it.
Antecedents to Behavior
Antecedents are events that may be linked to a behavior. Other antecedents “provide the setting” for a behavior to happen or even for a behavior not to occur.
A parent who offers fresh fruit for her children to consume as an after-school snack is increasing the likelihood that they will eat fresh fruit for a snack since the fruit is in a readily accessible area and the child does not have a food aversion toward it.
Consequences to Behavior
Consequences are the things that cause a kid to do something more frequently or less frequently in the future. When most people hear the word consequence, they immediately think of a punishment.
It does not imply either discipline or punishment when you think about it from a behavioral science standpoint. A consequence is any event that follows a behavior.
For example, if a youngster learning to speak is given a drink after saying the word “drink,” it’s possible that this might lead to poor speech development.
When the child understands that he can obtain a drink by asking for one, it makes it more likely that he will use the word “drink” in the future to request for anything.
Another consequence might be when a parent confiscates a child’s phone or tablet because he has done something cruel to his sister.
In this scenario, the parent is hoping that the youngster’s cruel treatment of his sister will happen less frequently or not at all in the future, and that removing the electronic gadget as a consequence will make it more likely for him to achieve this goal.
As a parent, you may assist your child in numerous ways by comprehending the causes and consequences of their actions.
You shouldn’t expect too much of your youngster.
Autistic children are incredibly wonderful individuals. It is critical for parents to have faith in their child and to encourage them to continue growing and developing so that they may live their best lives possible.
If parents do not encourage their kid to continue to grow, develop, and learn new things, they are not really assisting their kid in being the greatest version of themselves possible.
Balancing Acceptance with Growth
Yes, it might be difficult to determine when to accept your child for who they are and when to gently encourage them to venture outside their comfort zone and attempt something new, but you may learn more about how to approach this delicate balancing act by considering your child’s future.
What do you think would be the greatest option for them? What talents will they need to live as independently as an adult? What makes them happy and satisfied, not just in the present but also looking at the long term picture of their total well-being?
The Experience of Flow for Greater Well-being
People sometimes need to engage in activities that are a little difficult for them in order to enjoy greater happiness and well-being over time, according to studies on joy.
Flow is one term that is associated with this concept. Flow refers to the sensation of being slightly taxed while engaged in an activity that one can mentally and physically connect with in a pleasurable way. Flow is linked to increased life satisfaction and well-being (Šimleša et al., 2018).
Surprisingly, some of the features of flow are strongly associated with autism spectrum symptoms. To quickly summarize a few of these overlapping characteristics, both flow experiences and ASD are characterized by:
- When children do things because they enjoy doing it, those activities automatically strengthen their behaviors and help them develop new skills.
- While these individuals are often productive, they may also become overly focused on something of interest to them.
- To lose oneself in the moment is to be oblivious to one’s own existence.
- having a distorted sense of time
- The ability, or lack thereof, to feel in command of one’s experience
- by giving undivided attention to a subject.
It’s safe for everyone, including children. Instead of spending all day playing video games, which many youngsters would like to do and may believe makes them happy.
It’s critical to consider how your child may participate in more activities on a regular basis so they can have even greater well-being through the chance to discover pastimes that allow them to experience a state of flow more often.
This is not to argue that video games can’t provide a child with a state of flow or improve his/her well-being in some way; it’s just as important to consider providing children with more opportunities to have more experiences now and in the future.
Expecting a Bit More
Let’s look at some situations when it would be beneficial to gently challenge a youngster to step out of their comfort zone.
- If his parents allow him to get more comfortable with going on nature hikes, he may realize that he genuinely enjoys being in the outdoors.
- If a youngster is encouraged to spend more time with his family pet, he may find pleasure in playing with and teaching him new skills.
- If children are taught to swim even if they don’t like it at first or would rather play video games, another youngster might discover he genuinely likes swimming.
All of these activities may have pushed the youngster out of their safety zone, but in the end, they allow the child to realize greater well-being and provide them with an opportunity to experience joy in a different manner while also teaching them skills that will be useful for a lifetime.
When a youngster is able to perform something that appeared nearly hard for them to accomplish, they may feel such gratification and confidence.
It’s vital not to be too trusting with your youngster. It is acceptable to continue to gently push them to learn and develop their talents.
You can do this in a caring and loving manner, of course you don’t have to make your child so uncomfortable that they become nervous or sad, but think about your child and always believe in them and know they have the ability to learn more… We all can!
What Parents of Children With Autism Shouldn’t Do with Their Kids
You know your kid best. What works for one youngster may not work for another. However, there are some broad guidelines based on the most effective techniques to assist kids with autism spectrum disorder flourish.
Some of these techniques are also linked to behaviors that have previously been shown to be detrimental for kids with autism.
We went over a few of the things that are not advised when it comes to assisting children with autism.
- It’s not beneficial to have unclear or unspoken expectations.
- It’s not advantageous when the parent or caregiver of a kid with autism doesn’t comprehend the antecedents and consequences of his or her actions.
- It’s not helpful to parents when they set their kids up to fail.
Your kid just needs your care, support, and affection. The suggestions in this post were made to assist provide you a little more perspective on issues that may be more challenging when it comes to helping kids with ASD.
Even if you discover that you do some of the things we’ve discussed on occasion, that’s fine. Parents don’t always succeed at everything or adhere to all scientific recommendations ALL of the time. Parenting is a learning process.