If you have a child with autism, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with all of the minor details when it comes to raising them. There’s a lot of things to be done: from therapy sessions to taking classes on your own time to teaching them coping strategies. Sometimes it can be easy to forget what it’s all about. In this article, Brian Colpak will go over three simple yet kind-hearted things that you can do for your child that will show them how much you love them and how they can love themselves too.
Support Their Interests
When wanting to spend time with your child, it can be tempting to come up with your own plan for what to do. There are ways to do that, like observing how they play, what interests them, and similar things you might notice simply by observing them. However, if you want to connect with them, you should consider joining in on whatever they’re already doing. This is known as Parallel Play.
If it’s a game, ask them how to play and let them teach you. If it’s an activity, ask how you can help. Make it so that they are in control of the situation and are guiding you into doing what they want you to do. If they express or seem to want to be left alone, then respect that wish and come back another time. Never force yourself into their world or try to make them spend time with you when they are not interested.
Give Them Structure
One of the best things you can do for your child on the spectrum is to help set expectations for their daily routine. For many ASD children, not having a consistent routine can be incredibly hard on them. Create a physical or digital chart that shows every activity that they will be doing each day. If possible, gather input from them on what they think should go where. Or observe to see what works best.
Work together as a team to make the perfect schedule for them that reflects their wants and needs. By knowing what is going to happen on any given day, you will go a long way to help them feel more comfortable.
Just Tell Them You Love Them
It never hurts to express how much you care about them. Give them a hug, buy them a treat, do something that lets them know that they aren’t a burden and that you are there for them every step of the way. Love and kindness are some of the most powerful tools you have.
ASD children are some of the most loving and kind souls you will ever meet. They may have different struggles than neurotypical people, but they are still people that deserve to know how much they matter. By supporting your child through consistent love and support of everything they do, they will take that with them into the world and be better equipped to face life’s hardships.
About Brian Colpak
Brian Colpak is a tech entrepreneur and the founder of Continental Global. After spending most of his career in managerial positions, he founded and led a company that was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in Massachusetts before starting his current company. These days his main focus is on an upcoming project in Dubai.