Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the few developmental disorders that affect children. It is typically characterized by low-level of interaction and communication skills and is referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because children suffering from autism could fall anywhere on what experts refer to as a spectrum or range. That is, a scale employed by experts to determine the extent to which a child is affected by autism and/or any other related condition.
Though the root cause of the disorder is not yet scientifically stated, children suffering from autism often have challenges communicating with other people. They also have difficulty making eye contact and as a result, they are often introverted and prefer to be on their own rather than in the company of others.. However, on rare occasions, we see autistic kids that have the ability to relate and interact with others.
Thus, it is difficult for any parent or caregiver to be able to determine whether a child is autistic or not, and he or she is, the extent to which the child is affected.
Here are a Few Things to Know About Autistic Kids
First of all, It is important to know that autism has no known cure yet.
However, effective programs exist that can help to manage the disorder and many autistic children are now able to communicate and interact through the help of such programs.
That said, here are a few behaviors exhibited by children with autism. Knowing these behaviors will help you determine whether your child is exhibiting some signs of autism, thus the need to seek professional help.
Below are some of them:
- Difficulty understanding any form of non-verbal communication such as eye contact, grimace, smile or frown.
- Inability to process two or three information at a time, hence it’s usually one thing at a time.
- Repetitive activities and behaviors such as arm flapping, head banging, or twirling an object over and over again.
- Rigidity in behavior and difficulty with change and transitions.
- A narrow range of interests is manifested and activities are often hampered.
- Restlessness, sleep problems.
- A tendency to hurt himself or herself; headbanging, biting, and so on.
How You Can Help An Autistic Child
Now that you know a few things to observe to determine whether a child is autistic or not, it is important that you do not make a conclusion without consulting a professional. In some cases, a child may be experiencing slow development, but not necessarily autistic.
That said, if after proper consultations, it is established that a child is autistic, there are some steps that the parents or caregiver(s) can take to help the child.
First of all, your knowledge about ASD will make you a better parent or caregiver. Usually, a good start is to learn about the disorder and what worked for other parents or caregivers.
With that in mind, here are a few things you could do to improve your parenting or caregiving skills:
- Acquire a lot of information: Reading about children with autistic spectrum disorder is one of the most viable ways to be a better caregiver. Stay up to date on current research findings, and make sure you consult a professional or an institution that provides support to people having such a disorder.
- Close monitoring: Because autistic kids are characterized by certain peculiar traits, it is advisable to keep a close eye on such children to avoid domestic accidents or self-inflicted injuries.
- Join a community: Joining an online community or groups for parents of children with autism has been regarded as another avenue to gain insight on ASD management.
- Seek Professional Help: When you feel that the stress of caring for an ailing child is affecting your relationship, you could call on your health care provider to help you find a qualified individual, therapist or counselor for further assistance.
At Pulse Center, we have specialists and programs designed to help autistic kids live to their fullest potential. If you need professional help taking care of an autistic child, please do not hesitate to contact us.