As a mother, I know that when my child started exhibiting symptoms I didn’t understand, I immediately took them to see their physician. My child wouldn’t look me in the eyes, wasn’t showing any signs of talking, and since communication was poor they would throw fits when I couldn’t understand them.
It broke my heart to see my child suffering this way, so I documented what I did to show them that I was listening and I cared about them, no matter the struggle. Here’s the best way to relate to your child with autism spectrum disorder.
Spend Time Learning About Them –
And I don’t mean by research or books. Sit down with your child and talk to them. They might not talk back, but knowing that you are sitting there, trying to communicate and trying to connect with them means a lot.
At first, I thought that this wasn’t working, but after the progress was made, which took about six months of me talking to her and at her while she sat beside me and read or played, she started talking. It was small words at first, but it meant the world to me to see the progress she and I had made!
Include Them in Activities –
I loved exercising and being busy, but I thought that might be too much for my child to handle. I was wrong. What I saw when my child exercised with me and ran all my errands alongside me was a happy child who really shined.
Including my child in activities made her feel included and the same as everyone else. I didn’t know that by excluding her from these basic activities would make her feel like she was different and wasn’t allowed to be with me. Now, me and sunshine do everything together with smiles on our faces!
Special 1 on 1 Time –
This was important because I have another child who is a rambunctious little boy that loves to be in everything, talks all the time, and gets in everyone’s business. This makes it difficult to give one child special attention they need.
I would tell my son to play while me and his sister would chat for about an hour. That’s what we started with, and when I wanted to give her more time, we would go out and the boys would go out. What made this a wonderful experience was that we would also trade, so no child felt like they weren’t involved with one of the parents. Me and my husband wanted our children to know we both loved them equally.
Read About Autistic Children –
I did this with my daughter so we could learn more together and she could see that she wasn’t alone. This activity brought me and sunshine together because we bonded over her uniqueness that only some people had. It made her special and she knew it, but in a beautiful way!
Reading to her about other children who were on the spectrum and about their parents helped us connect. We could come to this meeting ground where we could both feel relieved and happy that we weren’t the only ones who were learning as we went along.
Join an Autistic or Special Needs Play Group –
I liked being around other parents who knew about my daughter’s Autism and could understand the struggle of trying to communicate. These groups didn’t help my daughter, they made her thrive in her environment. These groups are designed to help children feel safe around others who are just like them. They don’t feel different or odd around these kids like they might around other children at school or in the neighborhood.
After joining a play group where my daughter and I could make friends, we began making play dates where she could have friends over or go to someone’s house while the moms got together for some therapy, ideas, and teaching. We were all learning together with our children.
Seeing my daughter thrive was more than I could ever dream of when I first noticed her avoiding me and not trying to form words. Hearing the simplest of words like no and yes would make me cry at first. Now my daughter asks me if she can have friends over or if she can play with someone. It’s amazing how the smallest changes can give a child the world.
Shirley is the proud mother of two beautiful children. She has been writing informational blog posts for parents for a few years now and hopes she can help with your questions and concerns with parenting. You can visit her blog or follow her on twitter