Raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD may be a challenging task for some families. However, the child’s development growing up will be primarily affected by how the family will show their love while they raise and nurture him. Thus, the role of the parents, siblings, and relatives in the child’s life is indispensable.
Challenges In Raising A Child With ASD
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition in a person that persists and affects interaction, behavior (restricted or repetitive), and communication (speech and nonverbal). Symptoms vary among people, including the severity – therefore, a person with ASD may exhibit different behavioral patterns than others.
The common signs and symptoms of autism are: avoiding eye contact and wants to be left alone, having trouble talking about their own feelings or that of other people, and having difficulty in expressing their needs using words or movement.
It is also common for them to not look at objects when it is pointed at by another, or to have trouble in adapting to changes in their routine, among others.
With the signs mentioned above and symptoms, indeed, raising a child with ASD might be a daunting undertaking. The child will need special attention, extra love and care from his or her parents and other family members, and proper medical treatment.
Fortunately, early detection of ASD is possible with the right professional intervention. ASD typically appears in childhood, with symptoms manifesting as early as 2 to 3 years old. Quick and timely medical diagnosis and treatment will aid in reducing the symptoms of ASD; hence, greatly influencing the future of the child.
Love, Acceptance, And Support
The family is the foundation of society. Parents should provide the best for their children, and nurture them with their love and care. The quality of family life inside the home significantly affects the development of any person – especially those suffering from any sickness or afflictions.
First, families must be accepting of the child’s situation. Unconditional, whole-hearted acceptance is needed to move forward and prepare for the future of the child. Breaking the stigma on ASD and other disorders must start within the four walls of the house to foster a welcoming atmosphere that extends outside of the home.
Acceptance must also be enduring, even as the child gets older. It means that he or she will most likely have difficulty finding a job to support himself or herself. Even in the future, he or she will need extra love and understanding.
Parents can make a tremendous impact on the child. Parents must learn how to interact with the child appropriately. In communicating with the child, adults must include comments or actions that will pique the current interest and behavior of the child.
This strategy is necessary to facilitate the child’s focus or attention. It is only one of the recommended courses of action to be taken by parents.
Further, it cannot be stressed enough that love and support are vital in providing the best possible life for a child with autism. As the saying goes, there is power in love. Love can heal. For a child, a mother’s or father’s love and affection – even the lack thereof – will mold him into the person he will be in the future.
Giving What’s Best For The Child
The cognitive and social development of the child must remain the top priority. Hence, parents need to provide equitable access to education for the child with ASD. Finding an excellent learning environment benefits the child with ASD in the long run.
Parents must choose a school with the right facilities, resources, and teaching methods. Various schools cater to the needs of families with special needs children. In these schools, there are programs offered that fit the specific needs of an individual.
As much as it is a medical condition, families must support their child in finding proper treatment from professionals. Parents must seek medical guidance from health professionals such as clinical psychologists, therapists, and others, to monitor them.
Therapies and other forms of interventions aim to give the child with ASD a chance at living his or her best possible life. Support – financially, emotionally, even spiritually – will help yield better results.
Parents, loved ones, even friends, must be advocates of children with autism. As the world is getting more complex and advanced, often the sick, marginalized, and oppressed, tend to get left behind. Therefore, as important as it is to create a warm abode for a child with ASD, it is also necessary to amplify advocacy to erase the stigma in society.
Advocacy may start in the classroom, the community, the church, and beyond. Awareness and acceptance are vital to foster a healing environment for everyone, especially those with disorders.
Without a doubt, raising a child requires a tremendous amount of effort. Parents must strive to provide the best for them. More so, children with ASD will need the unconditional love, support, and sacrifice of parents – or even more.