Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors:
Counting or repeating words or phrases
Wanting everything to stay the same or strictly following set routines
Intense reactions to changes in plans
Fixated interests in certain topics
Repeating behaviors or actions
Flapping their hands, spinning, or rocking their body
Inflexible thinkingWhen your child displays these types of behaviors and if they cause distress in day-to-day life, therapy focusing on increasing their coping skills and flexibility may be helpful in supporting them to move through life where changes occur on the daily. You and your child may practice accepting changes or preparing to expect changes. If your child displays any of the above behaviors, they may be on the Autism Spectrum. Please speak to your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your child’s development. Each Child with ASD is unique and may face various challenges. However, all children with ASD can benefit from early intervention and specialized therapies. If you are a parent or caregiver of a child with ASD, it is important to be aware of these challenges, and seek the resources and support your child needs to thrive.
Finding out your child has Autism can be emotionally trying and overwhelming. After diagnosis, parents are likely uncertain and may wonder what to do next. The tips below are a starting point to help guide you in the right direction as your family navigates life with Autism.
1) Find a High-Quality Therapist
Therapy is the best way to help your child grow developmentally. It teaches skills that lead to ongoing improvements and strengthens the family bond. Therapists often start with the skill most impacting the child’s life and those with the highest likelihood of success. Learn more about the types of therapy that your child needs.
2) Focus on the Positive
While the support for someone with a diagnosis may be physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausting to navigate, remember it is also possible to view it as an opportunity. An Autism diagnosis allows the family to examine the child’s life for areas that need improvement, identify resources available that may be covered by medical insurance, and to develop specific plans to improve their quality of life. Every small accomplishment your child achieves makes a big difference.
3) Form Social Groups
Communication and social skills develop by practicing with similar-aged friends. There are often groups in your area focused on this. It provides crucial opportunities for your child to practice in a safe and healthy environment with peers. The opportunity to interact with others helps to stimulate your child’s brain by increasing their opportunities to learn new skills.
4) Talk to a Therapist
You need to work directly with a therapist experienced in Autism Spectrum Disorders. There are several surefire signs of a good therapist. These surefire signs include empathy, a high understanding of psychology, and the ability to connect with a child. Each child experiences Autism in ways that are different from others, and it is crucial to find a therapist who can relate to your child’s experience. Early Intervention programs help the children with Autism to join school with other children and lead an independent life.
Open-dialogue between parents and an expert is paramount. Discuss concerns and desires early on, and find a therapist willing to work with you on your behalf. Seeing your therapist and feeling like you are a team working towards your end goal should feel good. Your therapist should listen to all your suggestions, take all your experiences and your child’s experiences, and make recommendations based on your goals and objectives.
After receiving an ASD DIAGNOSIS, it’s common for parents to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the next steps. Many resources and services are available, and it can be hard to know which ones are right for your child.
The most important thing is to remember that every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another. With that in mind, here are a few different types of services that parents of Autistic children should seek out:
-Behavioral Therapy: Behavioral Therapy is one of the most common and proven effective therapies for autistic individuals. It can help children with social skills, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
-Speech Therapy: Many children with ASD also have difficulty with communication. Speech Therapy can help with this by teaching them how to communicate better with others.
-Occupational Therapy: Occupational Therapy can help with fine motor skills, sensory processing, and daily living activities.
-Psychological Services: Children with ASD are at a higher risk for anxiety and depression. Psychological Services can help children deal with these issues healthily.
If you are concerned that your child may have ASD, talk to your doctor. They may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.
Creating a structured environment is key for a child with ASD. A set routine and consistent expectations can help your child feel secure and supported. Here are a few tips on how to create a structured environment for children with ASD:
These tips can help children with ASD feel comfortable and confident in their environment.
Empower Therapy aims to deliver trauma-informed, individualized, ‘best fit’ care based on each child and family’s needs.
From our center-based ABA therapy programs to our Parent Consulting Program, we offer a range of services to support and guide you on your child’s developmental journey, wherever you are.
Here are just a few reasons why families love working with Empower Therapy:
No two children or families are alike. That’s why, in addition to our regular center-based ABA Therapy Services, Empower Therapy offers an array of other services and support, including:
No matter where the child, parents, and caregivers are on their journey, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
We're a Team
After a child is diagnosed with Autism, each family will respond differently to the diagnosis. Families can take some steps to begin supporting their autistic child. These steps include seeking out support and information from professionals and other parents, developing a positive attitude towards Autism and creating a safe and supportive home environment.
Children all have a special skill that parents must find, encourage, and develop. By encouraging your child’s special skills, parents can support their growth, a way to manage their stress, and even potentially lead them to a future career opportunity all with the goal of their child leading a happy and fulfilling life.