How to Help An Autistic Child in His Everyday Routine?
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Mar 29, 2019
Many times a child with autism has trouble with his sensory system; sometimes one or more senses are either over or under reactive. This may be the underlying reason for behavior like rocking, flapping of hands or spinning. A child with autism may also be disturbed by certain kinds of lights, touch and sounds like trains on a railway platform, or if someone tries to hug them. Not every child will be affected, but for the ones who do, it becomes quite important for the facilitators to structure the environment for the child.
Tips to Cope with Autistic Child’s Daily Needs?
Here, I will share some general guidelines that are useful, if not necessary in most situations:
- Cover the child’s ears, use earplugs if necessary
- Prepare the child before you take him into a noisy place or a crowded situation
- Check the intensity and quality of light in your room
- Use colors and patterns (clothes, bed linen, curtains, etc.) that suit your child
- Massage the child
- Rub different textures on the child – lotions, brushes, powders, etc.
- Sucking on a toffee
- Rubbing a ball over different parts of his or her body
- Clapping different parts of the body, finger painting
- Make a calendar
- Give them a deep pressure head massage before the haircut
- Try to cut their hair while the child is asleep
- Let the child see you having a haircut
- Cut his or her hair at home
- If your child dislikes wearing clothes of certain textures, colors and patterns, respect their desires
- If your child likes wearing tight clothes, let him or her wear vests
- If he complains that new clothes are uncomfortable, you can wash them several times until they become soft
- If your child gets irritated with labels inside the clothes, cut them off
- Let your child eat food in a variety of ways
- Massage his mouth and jaw area before meals
- Put foods of different textures, tastes and temperature on his lips – like jam, ice cubes, ice cream, etc.
- Encourage activities that involve the mouth – blowing bubbles, whistles, paper, etc.
- Try and establish a sleep pattern by maintaining regularity
- Avoid sweet artificial food at night
- Avoid rowdy or rough physical play at least half an hour before the child’s bedtime
- Give the child a warm water bath with a gentle back massage, with a towel or cream, if they like it
Outings & Travel:
- Carry the child’s sensory toys like play dough, fabrics of different textures with you
- Oral stimulation is calming - use cucumbers, carrots, etc.
- Give the child an air pillow to sit on
- Let them wear their favorite clothing
#Parentune Tip: What you must remember is that your child will have his own unique needs and ways of responding. These techniques are only a suggestion. You must consult an occupational therapist if your child with autism is facing difficulties coping either with his sensory system, or daily activities.
How do you understand, and thus be more sensitive and tolerant to the parents of an autistic child? Please do share your feedback and views in the comments section below.