How to cope with your autistic child’s needs
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Apr 02, 2017
Many a 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.
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 colours 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, colours 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 and 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 favourite clothing
#ParentuneTip: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 youunderstand, 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.
| Sep 27, 2017
Thanx mam for the useful information. It really hard to manage but the blog is great help.
| Apr 02, 2017