Autism. It can be a difficult condition to live with, and more kids in the United States may have it than you think.
In the United States, about 1 in every 44 children has autism spectrum disorder.
If you are a parent of one of these children, this news could petrify you. You may not know exactly what this condition is or how to deal with it.
Parenting a child with autism can be difficult at times. So, how do you do it?
Here are six parenting tips for you.
1. Create a Schedule
If you have a kid with autism, one of the best things that you can do for them is to create a schedule. Children with autism tend to like structure and order, so it can help to provide them with as few curveballs as possible.
While it is impossible to schedule every aspect of your life, scheduling more things in your life is a step in the right direction.
For example, say they are in grade school. You can schedule what time they have to wake up, what time they have to leave for school, how long they are in school, and when they have to do their homework.
To add to this, you can schedule what time you are going to have dinner at your house. Some parents take this a step further and schedule when children have time to watch TV or just play.
Scheduling things that you can control can help kids with autism develop a routine and experience more calmness.
2. Take the Child for Errands
The next thing that you should do with your child is take them on errands with you. This can help them get more exposed to the world around them and have a worldview that is more than just your home structure.
You may be worried that your child is not going to behave. You may worry that they will cause a scene. You may not know what to expect from them.
All of these are valid concerns, and the truth is, your child may have an outburst once in a while in public. However, this should not limit you from ever taking them out of the house.
Explaining the purpose of these errands can help them be functioning adults of their own one day. Take them to get groceries, take them to your bank, and explain how deposits and withdrawals work.
These are things that can help them in the future.
3. Give it Time
Remember, when it comes to autism, managing it is a process. There are going to be times when this process frustrates you and tests your patience.
These are all normal feelings to have. At first, parenting a child with autism can feel overwhelming. But once you have a routine down and are more informed about the disorder, you will see improvement.
Just remember that this is not a process that happens overnight, so give it some time to kick in.
4. Try to Find Some Help
As a parent of a child with autism, you may forget that you have a life of your own sometimes. You may feel burned out.
For this reason, you may want to look into hiring help if you can afford it. There are over 200,000 nannies in the United States, so one of them is likely to be a good fit for you.
Understandably, this may be more difficult with a child with autism. You may not even be able to afford a nanny.
If that is the case, reach out to your family members and see if someone would be willing to watch your child every once in a while. This can be anyone from a parent to a sibling, cousin, aunt, or uncle.
5. Take Care of Yourself
When it comes to children with autism, parents can spend every last ounce of their energy making sure that their children are happy and taken care of. Unfortunately, that can lead to them feeling burned out.
Do not forget to take care of yourself as a parent and make sure you think about your own mental or physical health. Perhaps take some time to do meditation to get away from it all, work out, or even just take a walk outside.
Find something that makes you feel calm and peaceful, then make time for it.
6. Stay Positive
Finally, it is important to stay positive when it comes to being a parent of a child with autism. Coping with autism can mean focusing on skills that your child has that regular children do not.
For example, kids with autism are likely to be very good at math. Some children with autism also have incredible memories, meaning they can take in a lot of information. They can catch the small details that regular people may not miss.
While kids with autism may struggle with other things, such as patience and social queues, there are still positives to this condition.
Keep Parenting a Child With Autism Better
These are six tips that you can use if you are parenting a child with autism. Remember to stay positive, create a schedule, reach out for help, take time for yourself, and give it some time to adjust to your new normal.
If you do all of this, you can learn how to cope with autism and chip away at some of the disorder in no time.
Are you ready to start the process? Click here to take your first step.