ASD Children – Picky Eaters

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Parents often have difficulty in feeding their children, kids with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or those without the disorder. Well, if you think that you’re the only one experiencing this problem, then, you’re in luck. Almost all parents have this issue and more so on families who have a child with ASD. They are not just “picky eaters”. Children with autism have certain behaviors during meal time like rituals, tantrums regarding the food and food selection.

However, there are ways to ease the behavior (maybe control the anger issues that come with it) and stretch the “picky” diet style of your ASD children, according to Dr. Emily Kuschner, a psychologist from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (For more info on anger issues, check BetterHelp.)

Source: sunfieldcenter.com

Check Your ASD Child For Medical Complications.

Some children with ASD manifest medical complications associated with eating in various ways like shutting their mouth during meal time when being fed a certain food. It’s not that they don’t want to eat it or they don’t like the taste of that food. It could be that their stomachs get hurt as they eat that particular food. This is possible. Children with ASD have delicate digestive systems and it could be causing great discomfort and pain. Talk to your doctor about this so that he can thoroughly check if there are foods which can pose allergies or sensitivities to your ASD child.

 

Remain Composed Always When Dealing With Your ASD Child.

You have to be patient when feeding your ASD child especially if you are going to introduce new food. They will make a fuss about it, for sure, but we all know that they are much more sensitive than other kids when it comes to all aspects – eating included. The only way to find out what type of food he likes to eat is to offer him new meals each time so he can get a taste of it all.

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Bear In Mind That An ASD Child Reacts To The Texture Of The Food.

They will touch the food. Lick it. Kiss it. Poke it. Smell it. They will do a bunch of things with it before they decide to have a bite and swallow the food. If they don’t like how it “feels” in their mouth, most likely, they will spit it out. Find ways to overcome that so your child will eat. Some parents mash the food or blend it so that it will be smooth.

 

It May Sound Weird, But Let Your ASD Child Play With His Food.

Let him use his pasta sauce as paint (on the plate, of course!). Make him create his own pizza by using vegetables that he himself picked out and formed. Give him cookie cutters to shape his sandwiches. In the end, your child will try these foods for himself and decide if he likes it or not – at least, meal time won’t be a source of distress by doing that.

 

Give Him Choices And Let Your ASD Child Take Control Of His Meal Time.

Instead of pushing him to eat that dish of kale and broccoli, why not put 4 to 5 veggie dishes in front of him and let him choose what he likes best? If he is in control of the food he eats, he will be less likely to act out may actually find something he likes to munch on. And so, provide a choice of veggies, fruits, protein, carbs and etc. Let him pick his food.

 

Social Activities For Children With Autism

The main distinction of children with autism from others is their social interaction difficulties. Autism spectrum disorder, however, varies in terms of severity. There are children who have high functioning autism. Some children have severe cases on the other hand. Whatever it may be, people with autism have a hard time connecting with other people.

They may appear disconnected from other kids at their age. Also, they may appear disinterested in everything. In addition, they may appear blind from the happenings around them. But like any other kids, children with autism should not be disregarded and singled out when it comes to socializing. 

Schools For Their Special Needs

Nowadays, most educational institutions in different countries accommodate children with this kind of disorders. Different schools now have special classes that will suit the needs of children with autism. Teachers are properly oriented and trained to handle possible tantrums and social problems that these children will display.

Source: metrokids.com

More often than not, one will notice the friendly attitude of teachers towards children with autism. Even these teachers’ companionable and cheerful behaviors are extended to other people. Therefore, one need not to worry about the basic support and socialization your child with autism can get from going to such schools.

 

Activities To Enhance Their Social Skills 

Establishing communication and interaction with kids with autism is quite challenging for parents, teachers and other children. Schools and therapy centers improvise friendly ways and activities to get the young ones break communication barriers by themselves, control their emotions, and somehow understand and have a grasp of their surroundings.

Activities that can improve social skills of a child with autism revolve around interactive games. Simple situations can be demonstrated or given to kids and have them develop emotions associated with it. Charades, storytelling, and light conversations with other kids are good examples.

Source: partnershipforchildren.org.uk

One kind of activity that the schools are practicing involves letting the child manage his or her own way through play sets of everyday items. This play-and-pretend technique can be a good enhancer of socializing skills because the child can demonstrate freely what he or she sees from the adults. 

Teachers may also exercise and demonstrate light control and authority over children with autism. This can teach young minds about proper behavior, simple control, and some emotion-recognition. 

Activities about enhancing the social skills of children with autism should target their difficulty in speech, thought-coordination with the real world, recognition of emotions and gaining self-control. 

 

 

Possible Problems 

Public school teachers would complain about incidents of bullying against children with autism. With this notion, it’s not impossible that mixing children with autism with children without may give bad results. Kids with autism may be singled out or may even be left out. It’s important that parents and teachers ensure the complete consideration of other kids whom the child with autism will be socializing with.

Source: angloinfo.com

Another problem that may be encountered by a teacher of these children is the domino effect of tantrums. This is evident in special classes where children with autism socialize with each other. When one child shows tantrums, it is quite possible that his or her peers would follow. This problem may require the expertise of caregivers to divert the attention of other kids from the tantrums exhibited by one. 

The thought of social disconnect of children with autism may be distressing for parents. Children with autism may have problems with socializing but they themselves want interaction with others as well. Proper coordination and open communication between the parties involved (parents, caregivers, child) can give positive results and progress towards success. 

Finally, if teachers and parents can’t fully provide the necessary support for the child with autism, they may work cooperatively with a therapist. A mental health professional specializing in autism can dramatically help children with autism to reach their full potential. Don’t hesitate to find a therapist near you.

A Guide For Kids With ASD Parents

Source: parents.com

It is “normal” for a parent to worry and say – “Sigh! My child has ASD! What can I do?” But for a child to say that his parent has ASD, how should he feel about it? It is possible that the parents of such children have high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. The parents may be undergoing therapy of some sort like Occupational Therapy, Talk Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Still, there will be times when symptoms of the parent’s ASD will surface, and their loved ones will have to be ready for it.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, about 1 out of 100 people have ASD, and that includes Asperger’s Syndrome. Some of these adults may have been diagnosed early on, while others may have read about ASD and just tried to cope with it.

No two people are the same even if they both have ASD. Personalities are diverse. Experiences in life vary. The condition itself can have a different effect on people. But there are also times wherein the behavior of the parents are predictable. Kids of ASD parents must learn not to take it personally and deal with it accordingly.

Source: moziru.com

My Mom Is Cold, And She Doesn’t Seem To Understand What I’m Going Through Or How To Comfort Me.

First off, your mom is not cold. She is just unequipped on how to process her feelings and reactions at times. Secondly, your mom may look at you, but may not understand that you are happy, sad, irritated, annoyed or whatever else emotion you are feeling at that moment. Lastly, she doesn’t know how to make you feel secure or how to comfort you.

It is important to convey what you need from your ASD parent. You have to be vocal about what you want so that they will act on it. “Mom, I need you to hug me” or “Dad, please tell me that I am a good son” Only then will your ASD parent realize what he needs to do.

 

My Dad Doesn’t Look At Me When We Talk.

This sign is “common” for people with ASD to look somewhere else when they are in a conversation. It is one of the symptoms of ASD – not being able to maintain eye contact. That doesn’t mean your dad is not listening to you. You can’t assume either that he isn’t interested in speaking with you or as to what you have to say. People with ASD are like that.

If you still experience this with him, just tell your dad to look at you while you’re talking. Tell him that it will make you happy if he faces you while speaking. He will understand your need and try to do it even if it is difficult for him.

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My Mom Freaks Out At School And When I Don’t Follow Her Instructions Right Away.

Parents with ASD tend to be repetitive. They can talk nonstop about your school performance and your responsibilities or chores at home. The constant “nagging” feeling will make you stressed out. Just remember that this is not intentional on her part to make you feel bad and can be because your mom has ASD.

If you say – in a minute – your mom will see that as one minute or 60 seconds. She will take things and words literally. You need to think of that as well. So, the next time she talks about school and your grades, answer her that you are doing your best and that she doesn’t have to worry. Don’t be offended by her manner or way of talking. It is the ASD “talking.” As per her instructions or orders, don’t say – in a minute! Tell her that you will do it within the day if you’re busy at the moment, and honor your word.

 

There are just some of the situations a child with ASD parent can encounter. If you want to know more about how to communicate with your ASD mom or dad, then, Regain may be able to assist you.

The Impact Of Autism In The Family

Autism does not only affect the individual who gets a diagnosis because it also impacts the family profoundly. Usually, the unit seems unprepared for the diagnosis of autism. That’s because it changes the direction of the family’s life in a way that they somehow can’t handle and imagine.

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Common Challenges For Families Affected By Autism

Strain On The Marriage – Assisting someone with autism can put pressure on a marriage because of its unusual state to live in. There are times that couples tend to experience exhaustion at the same time that leads to stress and depression. With those factors, both partners end up having a miscommunication, losing cooperation, and start blaming each other for the situation.

Balancing Attention With Siblings – Taking care of kids is not an easy task. And knowing that someone needs more attention than the other can sometimes become very frustrating. That’s because an autistic child can grow very aggressive towards his siblings. From there, parents have to control physical and emotional impacts that the behavior might provide. An autistic child doesn’t put attention on what they are doing, and even if they try and hurt someone, it’s never going to be their fault.

Interaction Problem In The Family – An autistic child needs support regarding communication. Sometimes, it becomes hard to develop a relationship with other siblings because of not having anything in common. In some unfortunate events, some families hesitate on taking part in the autistic child’s life. They don’t seem to like partaking on leisure and family activities such as community outings or going to the beach. Sometimes, even going to the grocery store becomes an issue due to an embarrassing behavior that is part of having an autistic child.

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Lots Of New Responsibilities – Having an autistic child, a family suffers from tons of responsibilities and appointments it needs to juggle. The whole unit might get overwhelmed with the new and ever-changing information they have to discover and learn each day. There are difficult choices they have to make, adjustments they have no control over with, and behaviors they need to consider. Since most families see autism as a puzzle, everything feels like putting pieces all together even if it does not fit and seems impossible to handle.

Sensitivity IssuesWorking positively with family members is vital in assisting a child with autism.  Because sometimes the smallest issue turns out big due to over sensitivity. Most families become focus on looking at the imperfections of raising an autistic child. It becomes a problem for all the members of the unit, especially if other people point at the condition. And since the family needs to deal with the situation 24/7, it impacts aspects such as relationship, responsibilities, priorities, engagements, and communication, and social interaction.

A Valued Assistance – A family needs assistance in handling an autistic child. But sometimes, it’s not that easy to have it. The help they can get is temporarily part of their lives, but the situation they are at is going to be part of them forever. With that, the unit still handles everything and continues to care for the child seven days a week. The weight of the challenges and responsibilities for the family with is often irresistible that they require professional assistance.

Emotional And Mental Instability – Families who take so much responsibility in dealing with an autistic child becomes emotionally and mentally unstable. For them, the bad days of their lives grow over the top. Though frequent bad behavioral encounter sometimes makes the family get used to the situation, there are still some instances that they almost want to give up. In some unfortunate events, the bad circumstances outweigh the good ones.

Source: flickr.com

Not Everyone Understands The Situation – Yes, a family may get used to doing the things they need to do every day considering their situation. However, not all members of the family can easily understand it. Couples may see it as a determining factor of responsibility and priority, while others don’t seem to care. Some family members might not cooperate, and it may lead to severe unit dysfunction. With that, the whole point of taking care of an autistic child becomes more weary and depressing.

Societal Judgment – Though in some instances the problem gets resolved in many ways, there are still some parts of the society that doesn’t want to deal with the situation directly. That’s because in other people’s point of view, assisting an autistic child is depressing due to its life-long responsibilities. They somehow feel scared and hesitant to get attached to their situation.

The love and care of the family overcome the many challenges they take. Many of them also find help, hope, and acceptance in the situation of having an autistic child. The unit embraces and accepts the differences in their lives because they know they are still blessed. And even if there are only limited choices, most families’ wouldn’t trade their situation for anything in the world.

Is It Worth To Trust An Online Therapist In Treating Autism?

When someone thinks about a disease, they automatically assume that it is something degenerative. Most individuals see the condition as something that hurts someone and cause death eventually. However, autism is not like that. For an online therapist, the state is particularly a developmental disability that hinders people from living their lives in best ways same as everybody else. Autism covers a broad spectrum and most of the times, people having the condition doesn’t look autistic at all.

So one of the primary reasons why there’s a need for therapy in addressing autism is due to its complication in dealing with social interaction. There are communication problems in repetitive patterns of behavior and thoughts. People with the condition see and interact with things differently from others. That’s why with the help of therapy, a therapist assists the patient’s condition through proper ways. That includes having a connection to the patient through personal conversation.  However, what if administering a therapy is happening online? Will it be worth it to trust an online therapist for that matter? Well, there are reasons that it might be worth a try.

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Online Therapy And Counseling

In the previous years of autism treatments, an option of getting therapy is only through face-to-face interaction. It somehow made it impossible for other people in remote areas to get the help they need due to the transportation issue. The geographical location is quite a challenge for both the patient and the therapist as well.  There is little to no time recognizing the solution for addressing the stress autism brings. But since communication is now possible in practical ways such as emails, webcams, chat rooms, and texts, many people find it easy to open up to others about their struggle. These include their personal and mental health difficulties correlated with autism. The virtual process becomes a great alternative to in-person counseling. That is practically for needy clients who find the method suitable for their convenience.

People’s modern lifestyle and mental health needs are different from others. That’s why online therapy’s practicality, lower cost, and ease of access become all worth it. The therapist doesn’t require associates that only add up to the value of services. With technology, he can easily see and talk to the patient more efficiently. There is a flexible schedule online that both the patient and professional health care expert can agree to set.

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Benefits Of Online Counseling

The very idea of attending a therapy makes people lose interest in it. That’s because they assume that getting one is a sign of incapability. That becomes the reason why most individuals don’t seek help and otherwise let themselves suffer in the condition they no longer have control. With that, suitability becomes an advantage in finding the right therapist online. That’s because it is easier to locate and see through the professional’s records. If it is something that suits a client’s particular needs, then it can begin easy access to communication. The mutual convenience can support a sustainable relationship between the online therapist and his client. Whether the patient is across the state or other countries, the process can become consistent and accessible at all times. Aside from that, the patient can get directly in the heart of the problem because online counseling encourages anonymity. There’s not too much information that gets released because the discussion only focuses on the specific mental health issue of the patient.

Personal assistance to autism is honestly expensive than what most people think. However, individuals are not typically open to complain about it. That’s because their paying for getting the help they require through personal interaction. With all that said, it suits their needs. But for those people who can’t afford to pay a generously high amount of money for personal counseling, online therapy is the option. It is far cheaper than the conventional process because the therapist keeps down his overheads by saving staff and administration cost as well as office space rent.

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As technology and the internet becomes a necessity for almost all the people in the world, online therapy is snowballing. And that’s due to the fast and affordable mental health sessions done in a click of a mouse.

Expert Recommendations: Top Autism Applications For Kids

Technology has a significant role in addressing many medical problems. In the case of autism, technology has revolutionized on how parents, educators, and therapists treat kids. Online applications are helpful in providing visuals to improve communication, creating structure in a child’s daily schedule, and supporting transitions in decreasing the chances of anxiety and stress.

Source: blog.ed.gov

According to Dena Aucoi, M.Ed., Kaplan University’s Assistant Academic Chair in the Educational Studies program, using online tools in treating autism can be a great help to the social development of kids.

“They allow for learning to take place in many environments, which helps aid in the generalization of the attainment of skills,” she informs. “For example, if we are only teaching the skill of greeting others in the classroom, we may see less success when attempting to greet others at the grocery store.”

To assist in treating autism, here is a list of autism applications for kids as recommended by experts.

Preschool Educational Games For Kids-EduKidsRoom

This application has various offerings of different games, puzzles, and quizzes for children to learn number, letters, sorting, time, colors, and shapes. This application also incorporates multiple sensory inputs on its activities. This feature is helpful for kids with autism.

Autism iHelp

Autism iHelp is a vocabulary teaching aid which serves as a language intervention tool for kids with autism. The application includes activities which focus on auditory and visual memory and vocabulary retention. What’s unique about this application is it gives progress reports to parents for them to have at least have a glimpse of their child’s performance.

Source: pixabay.com

Autism Track

The function of this application is to help parents of children with autism to guide them into tracking data. This tracking tool allows parents to easily track symptoms, behaviors, and interventions in just one place.

“Behaviors and symptoms can be rated, as well as particular medications and their doses, diet changes and therapies. Parents can also review trends in their child’s data and share these data with school and medical providers to inform treatment planning. This app is especially helpful for children with challenging behaviors, psychiatric conditions or both.” This is what the creators said when asked to describe Autism Track.

Learn With Rufus

Learn with Rufus is an application which uses a cartoon character to teach emotions. It focuses on matching emotions to facial expressions and identifying other people’s feelings emotions. This application helps the kids improve their communication and social skills.

Source: pixabay.com

The Monster At The End Of This Book

This playful application uses the bright and colorful characters of Sesame Street to guide children to face their fears. This storybook application is a tool which enables them to interact with the story by turning the pages, knocking down bricks, and untying knots. Hence, improving development skills such as vocabulary, imagination, language, and fine motor.

Dreampad

This unique application which plays relaxing sounds and music through vibrations. This helps induce sleep and relaxation to a kid. According to a study, all 15 children with autism improved their sleep initiation, increased their sleep duration, and improved daytime behavior when exposed to Dreampad.

Using these applications is not enough to address autism. However, online applications can be a start to the improvement of those children with autism.

Behavioral Therapy For Children With Autism

There is no definite cure for autism. However, there are various types of treatment approaches that can significantly decrease the symptoms that come with it. In some cases, the treatment has a profound effect on these symptoms.  Because communication and social challenges are mainly considered as part of the entire diagnosis, speech and behavioral therapy usually comprise the main elements of the treatment plan. The problem is, no fixed treatment can get everything done.

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So far, one of the most effective ways to help children manage the symptoms is through behavioral therapy. Contrary to popular belief, behavioral therapy does not only address the hyperactivity manifestations of children in some cases. Aside from that, this type of therapeutic approach helps to improve the social skills of the children who are subjected to it.

 

Benefits Of Behavioral Therapy

 

There are numerous benefits if behavioral therapy is used on a long-term basis. Some of these are that it is safe and effective for the children. However, you will have to put in more time and funds for each therapy session. Moreover, you have to be hands-on in making sure that what the children learned during the sessions will have a carryover for a smoother transition to school.

 

While there is no final cure for autism, there are a lot of approaches that can help you guide your child. Aside from working with the therapist to come up with a realistic set of goals for your child, it is also essential to be flexible, as far as the monitoring of the progress is concerned. Making the necessary treatment adjustments is also important, and the participation of parents during the therapy sessions is highly encouraged. Another consideration is to engage in a continuous therapy and maintain regular meetings to ensure consistency in the interventions and outcomes desired.

 

The following are subtypes of behavioral therapy and are applicable in the management of autism:

 

Verbal Therapy

Source: 125fw.ang.af.mil

This is a type of approach that teaches non-speaking children how they can communicate their wants and needs with a purpose. Children learn that words can be functionally used to achieve the desired response. This does not only mean that the children will resort to actions such as pointing to communicate something that they want. Later, the sessions will progress to include a gradual introduction of spoken words into their vocabulary until such time that they can form clear and comprehensive sentences while resorting to minimal cues.

 

Applied Behavioral Analysis

Among the approaches mentioned here, this may be considered as the one with the most number of evidence to back it up. This technique requires the therapist to teach skills that they can use in social circles, education, self-care, communication, and play. The therapist will initially assess the patient for their needs and the goals of the parents. Competent parts will then be organized into encouragement, modeling, reinforcement, and repetition. As the child continues with the therapy, there will be a significant change observed in the behaviors, manners, communication, and relational aspects of the child.

 

Relationship Development

Source: af.mil

This is a family-oriented approach that focuses mainly on defining a social and emotional objective that can help the child form bonds and establish relationships with other people. Some goals related to this approach include empathy and motivation to mingle with other people around them. Some skills that can be learned are establishing dialogues while establishing eye contact. The therapist will help the child in starting the communication process, reply appropriately, and even guide the child in demonstrating the proper emotions. Take note – the whole therapy technique does not dictate to the child what to feel and do, instead, guiding and modifying the maladaptive behaviors into effective and acceptable forms.

 

Final Words

 

For the past 50 years, behavioral therapy proves to be useful in managing children with autism. The research on finding more solutions and strategies, to help children with autism and their families live a healthy and functional life, is still very active up to this date. As more research is conducted, the ultimate hope and dream by everyone are to discover an answer for this disorder.

 

Reference:

 

Angela Sim, Sharmila Vaz, Reinie Cordier, Annette Joosten, Dave Parsons, Cally Smith, Torbjörn Falkmer. (2018) Factors associated with stress in families of children with autism spectrum disorderDevelopmental Neurorehabilitation 21:3, pages 155-165. 

An Autistic Adult’s Life Challenge: Coping With Stress From Work

Anxiety and stress are a constant for most of us. But this is also inevitable for adults with autism, especially if they desire to work, or need to earn to thrive and live with their condition. Although we may be more capable of handling ourselves when we are face to face with problems, we can only imagine how these autistic adults struggle to keep up with their fellow employees, or perhaps excel and become the employee of the month – or year. 

Source: flickr.com

I have experienced this first-hand, when Allison became my workmate and friend in the editing company that I am currently working in. Ally has what we know as Asperger Syndrome, a component of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), which is considered to be at the high-functioning end of the spectrum. She is usually happy, carefree and comfortable, but definitely not a year ago when she was new. 

 

Common Behaviors Seen in Adults with Asperger Syndrome

 

Ally, on her first months of work, used to act really awkward around us. She would prefer eating by herself and I would find her discussing a project by herself as well. It took her about two months to try to see me eye to eye, and she’d be shy one minute then be hyperactive the next. She also used to be very shy and I could see how difficult it was for her to socialize with us, as she had limited verbal skills and spoke repetitively most of the time. These are among the most common symptoms one can witness in an adult with Asperger Syndrome.

 

Support And Services Available For People With Asperger Syndrome

 

After a few months, management decided to provide support for Ally through various types of therapy. She proved to be capable and efficient but just needed help in coping with her emotional and mental health issues, including stress and anxiety. 

 

 

  • Social Support From Co-Employees and Management

 

 

I am proud to say that I belong to a supportive and sympathetic management. They made it easier for Ally to work efficiently by modifying her workplace, e.g. placing her in a more quiet office where she has somewhere to relax and be herself. She was also given a more precise set of instructions and a list of her assignments for the week, which was displayed on her table where she can see it every time she forgets or loses focus.

As for me, as a co-employee, I assist her with some of her reports and provide positive feedback by complimenting her work, which is mostly excellent. One time, our photocopy machine didn’t function and she just got so worried and panicked. So I helped her relax and led her to the next floor to use the working machine there. She sometimes gets confused and less sure of her performance so I always make time to comfort her in her ‘chaotic’ moments.

Source: pixabay.com

 

  • Talk Therapy

 

 

This type of therapy has various forms, one of which is cognitive behavioral therapy, apopular and effective treatment for people with Asperger Syndrome. It works by regulating the individual’s feelings and impulses, which is done through changing her negative thoughts into more positive and healthy ones. Many experts testify the effectiveness of utilizing CBT in coping with autistic adults’ stress and anxiety. 

 

 

  • Speech Therapy and Social Skills Training

 

 

Because Ally was exceptional at her editing job but had trouble communicating with her workmates and heads, we encouraged her to try speech therapy. It helped her a great deal in learning how to improve the way she speaks and the way she verbalizes her thoughts. Individuals with Asperger Syndrome usually have trouble understanding certain gestures and figures of speech, and this is also one of the many goals of social skills training.

Source: flickr.com

Bottom Line

 

People like Ally not only learn from those who don’t have Asperger Syndrome, but undoubtedly I have learned much from her too. We both have recognized the fact that autistic or not, we need each other under the same or different circumstances in life – because they have much to teach us as well. 

 

Taking The Lid Off Anxiety And Autism

Anxiety is a prominent feature of autism although hard to determine at first.  It is hard to distinguish what upsets a kid with autism.  With the few words that sometimes come out of his mouth, he cannot explain precisely what happened to his days.  He can’t even tell what he is feeling exactly, whether he is bored or wants something that he will suddenly act out.  Did something happen out of the ordinary that he suddenly felt anxious and afraid?  It is indeed a tough job to care for a child with autism.  However, a parent will do anything to make things better although she is left in wonder.

Source: flickr.com

Meltdowns With No Routine Change

My daughter, Raj, will suddenly have an outburst even when she is doing her regular activities. She will suddenly scream at the top of her lungs, hit whoever or whatever is near her, and would jump around and clutch on things.  Sometimes, I wonder why is that so when it has been her routine for a long time.  It is hard to deal with her sudden tantrums especially when we are out.  With the big girl she is now, it sometimes feels awkward and worrying that other people who do not know might misunderstand her.  

 

Sometimes, I will give her gum which is useful in appeasing her and then hand her the Pooh stuffed toy which is her fav carry-around toy.  It takes much effort to calm her down after longdrawn-out meltdowns.  

 

Undiagnosed Anxiety In Autism 

Feeling the wrath of a child with autism who suddenly feels anxious is unbearable.  It leaves a scar in the hearts of the parents and caregivers, especially when it is too much that they sometimes need to be institutionalized.  Seeing your kid locked away for weeks to months is the darkest moments in a parent’s life.  

 

Autism and anxiety are a terrible combination.  Children may be given antipsychotic medications which effectively treat their aggression (which is symptoms of autism), but not to address the anxiety.  The anxiety in autistic children is often overlooked that it is left untreated.

Source: flickr.com

Doctors find it hard to suspect anxiety as the culprit to their aggressive behaviors and sudden outbursts as it, too, are part of his being autistic.   Social deficits, restricted interests, stereotyped movements can mask or mimic the symptoms of anxiety.  

 

One doctor gave an example of a patient who is a non-verbal autistic.  He will repetitively trace patterns in the air with his hands.  At first, it may seem like a “stimming” (repetitive behaviors are often seen in children with autism).  However, what is very distinct is that he is doing it at specific times, so the doctor suggested a ritual-related to OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) which is a form of anxiety.  

 

With the complex issues of symptoms in children and adults in the spectrum, doctors and caregivers find it hard to understand what they are feeling or thinking, and even the autistic themselves cannot articulate what it is to the people around them (parents or caregivers).  

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People in the autism spectrum disorder genuinely have unique, distinct ways of viewing the world and also have different experiences, that is the reason why caregivers should be oriented or learn things about social phobia and generalized anxiety.  

 

Researching online to understand the connection between anxiety and autism better.

 

Know your child’s autism-related manifestations and have an understanding of what is going on with him.  Working hand in hand with your doctor to better detect the anxiety that could be hiding in your child’s autism could help give him better treatment and a better life.

Ways To Prove Your Love For Your Autistic Child

Source: wikimedia.org

One of the signals that your child has autism is his slow emotional development. In case average toddlers always ask for their mommy or daddy, your offspring may not even care whether you are present or not. The kid may be aloof around people as well – including you – if he is “in the zone.” For sure, things get much worse if your child has severe autism since even a little skin-to-skin may put him on defense or attack mode.

What such instances tell you is that your way of showing affection to your non-disabled kids will most likely not work on the autistic one. You are fortunate if he merely ignores your cuddles or kisses. Some parents have to deal with a violent child who may pose a threat to others and themselves.

Thus, you should learn various approaches on how to prove your love for your autistic kid.

Source: flickr.com

Say No To Rushing

When your boy is already five and is still acting quite cold around you, it will not be shameful to admit that you feel exasperated due to it. You ideally live under the same roof, you try to play with him all the time, but the child typically does not respond when you call him or say ‘I love you.’

However, you do know that it is not because you are a lousy parent or because he hates your guts, right? Autism can make its victim emotionally unattached, and neither you nor your kid can reverse it anytime you want. So you may display your affection by keeping your cool and never rushing your baby to become as sweet as his peers who have no disability.

 

Identify The Trigger Factors

The disorder has an entire spectrum dedicated to it since the symptoms and triggers that patients experience rarely fall into a single category. That should be your driving force to look closely at your autistic kid and see what actions push him on edge.

As mentioned earlier, a youngster with a mild case of autism may turn away if you tap his arm or caress his cheek. The reaction may become harsher, assuming he has a more grave condition. Nevertheless, your chances of not dealing with meltdowns will increase once you understand all the factors that might trigger the kiddo’s autism.

Source: defense.gov

Inform Everyone Your Child Will Meet About His Issues

Kids with special needs thrive with structure. At home, you may already have a good system working, primarily when it comes to showing affection. That may consist of nods, smiles, pats, and perhaps a quick embrace if your autistic child allows it. The more you exercise that kind of routine with him, the easier it may be to improve your bond as a family. 

One thing that might destroy the peace, however, is when friends or relatives come up to the kid with autism and dare to hug or kiss him, unaware of what the little boy may do because of that. You cannot blame those people, considering they happen to switch on your kid’s aggressive side. As the parents, you must protect the child 100%, even if it means that you need to relate his condition to anyone he will meet in the future.

 

The main point here is that autism is not the type of disorder that you can fight with sheer stubbornness. In case you are unable to hug your child without asking for his permission or triggering his hostile behavior, then you have to use your smarts and work around it. That is the only way to prove your love for your little warrior successfully, to be honest.