Autism affects around 1.8 crore Indians many of whom have limited access to medical care or suffer from stigma to seek care. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is known as a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. There are multiple causes of ASD which act together to change the most common ways in which people develop. Autism is the world’s third most common developmental disability, a neurological illness that usually develops by the age of 3 years.  

What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental condition that has an impact on behavior, social contact, and communication. A wide range of behavioural traits, including poor eye contact, compulsive behavior, repeated actions or words, and poor social skills, can be seen in people with autism. Learning difficulties such as speech delay, hyperactivity, limited interest in one thing are some obvious signs of autism. While there is no cure for autism, early diagnosis and intervention can help your child with autism communicate, socialize, and develop meaningful relationships.

Parenting tips for bringing up a child with Autism

Having a child diagnosed with autism can bring about many overwhelming feelings to the parent. Apart from the medical care provided by doctors there are many things you can do at home to help your child thrive and reach their full potential. These include:

  • Gain knowledge about your child’s specific condition
    The best thing you can do to help your child thrive is to understand your child’s place on the spectrum. Because autism presents itself in an entire spectrum of individual aspects, it’s important to know exactly how it impacts your child.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek support
    If your child has been diagnosed with autism or is showing signs of autism, consult your child’s pediatrician and seek correct guidance from a neurologist or a therapist. Ask help from family members and friends too.
  • Learn your child’s sensory needs
    Many children with autism are also sensitive to sensory experiences. It is essential to know what areas under or over-stimulate them. Keeping a diary is a beneficial way to take notes of common triggers. It will also help track which treatments work or which ones do not work.
  • Provide structure with consistency
    A great method to reinforce everything your child learns outside the home is to establish a consistent environment at home. Make a daily routine with regularly-scheduled times for everyday activities such as bath, meals, therapy, bedtime, etc.
  • Create a safe home space
    It’s a good idea to designate a particular area of your home where your child can go to calm down. This will help to reinforce the idea that they should feel safe and secure. Set up reassuring items for your kid, like a stuffed animal or a favourite blanket. Please ensure that the area is completely safety-proofed.
  • Connect using nonverbal communication
    Not being able to communicate via speech can be challenging, but there are other ways to express. Look out for the nonverbal cues your child is giving you – facial expressions, gestures, and sounds are all ways of talking to you.
  • Create a personal treatment plan
    Remember that each child with autism is unique, and their treatment plan should also be unique. The treatment plan for your kid should be developed around their unique interests, enhancing their attributes, and addressing any areas of weakness. Be mindful of your child’s preferred learning styles and their favourite pastimes.
  • Make time for fun
    Spend some time with your child, and have fun together by doing things he/she enjoys. Play is an essential part of learning for all children and the same is true for autistic children.
  • Use rewards and consequences
    Positive reinforcement can go a long way in encouraging and motivating autistic children. When they behave properly or learn a new skill, compliment them. Reward them for their good behaviour by letting them play with a favourite toy or giving them a sticker.
  • Believe in yourself and your child
    Be patient with yourself and your child. You or your child may experience some setbacks, learn from bad experiences and find solutions. But it is essential to note and accept that you both have plenty of time to grow and learn.

Children with autism have unique strengths and abilities, and with the right support and intervention, they can lead happy, fulfilling lives.

Autism care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai

The Centre for Neurosciences at KDAH Mumbai offers a range of treatment options to help your child with autism live better. Our team of experienced healthcare professionals will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan for your child that takes into account their unique needs and challenges. We understand that every child with autism is different, and we strive to provide individualized care that meets the specific needs of your child. Please find below our website details:

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