8 Ways to Help Families with Autistic Children
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that makes things difficult for autistic children as well as their families. Families with children suffering from autism are often left alone by their friends and colleagues. This is mainly because people do not know about the disorder and it limits their capacity to aid for autism. The lack of knowledge about autism is staggering despite the high rate at which this disorder is being diagnosed among children.
Families with autistic kids need to put all their attention and effort on their children and their treatment and recovery. Such families need help.. Helping them even in small ways can make things easier for them and improve their lives significantly. Here are some of the things you can do to help your friends or colleagues if their child is suffering from autism.
- Acquire Information on Autism
To help the families and the children suffering from this neurodevelopmental disorder, the first thing you need to do is know more about autism and its effects. Your friends might have already been answering thousands of questions asked by their acquaintances about the disorder and you do not want to add to the stress. Knowing more about the disorder also ensures the child’s family that they can depend on you if they need any help as you will know what to do. Such a bit of relief can be a significant aid for autism for them.
- Discuss It
People often feel strange discussing anything about autism in front of families with an autistic child. Although it might feel strange and awkward, discussion is a crucial process in helping such families. You need to make this discussion as normal as possible. The suffering family needs to feel the assurance that they can discuss their thoughts and problems with you. Many times, simply talking about the problems can be a huge stress reliever. Most of the parents love to talk about their kids’ accomplishments and you need to be there for them and share the happiness. This small aid for autism can improve their lives and bring relief and joy.
- Know What to Say
People often don’t know what to say and ask questions that can be distressing and disheartening for the parents. Talking about the particular autistic look which you believe is the symptom of autism for all autistic children, is wrong and shows the lack of knowledge. Do not ask or tell the parents that it does not look like their child has autism because he doesn’t look different. Do not compare them with other patients or give advice. You need to be a helpful hand, a good listener. Do your small part in the aid for autism.
- Teach Your Children
What people often forget to do is teach their children how to behave with kids suffering from autism. The autistic children already suffer social alienation and they need good friends to help them deal with this. Your child should not treat them in any unpleasant way or behave as if they are contagious. Inform and teach your children so that they can be play a supporting role in your efforts to aid for autism.
- Arrange Playdates
Arranging playdates at your house or outdoors can help the family relax for a while. Seeing their child happy and playing with other kids can be a huge relief for the parents. It not only helps the child with being more social and confident but also gives the parents the opportunity to sit back and breathe. This simple aid for autism can be a huge help for the parents and the families with an autistic kid.
- Set Up Your House
Before you invite them to your house, make it more comfortable and enjoyable for them. Ask about their favourite food and surprise them with it. You can also set up their favourite toys and movies or shows they like. The autistic child might need some safety measures and visual supports for certain things. Inquire about them beforehand so that their stay at your house can be safe, pleasant, and comfortable.
- Running Errands
When you have an autistic kid at home, it becomes really hard to do certain easy stuff like going grocery shopping or returning a book to the library. Grocery shopping is especially hard for families with autistic kids as the children get extremely uncomfortable with strangers and crowd. The different lights and smells, or even waiting at the checking counter can be too hard to handle and can result in a meltdown. You can aid for autism with these easy jobs. Ask for their grocery list and get it for them. Helping with these small tasks can be extremely accommodating for them.
- Maintain Confidentiality
Many parents love to talk and boast about their child but there are some who prefer keeping it quiet. They might be in denial and suffering internally. You do not want to force them to talk and discuss the issue. Let them take their time and come to the point of acceptance. Moreover, if your friend informs you of the problems and sufferings of their family, you should never blab them to someone else. They are putting their trust in you by talking to you about it and you need to keep that trust. Your aid for autism should be to be there for them when they need a trusting ear. Do not go gossiping about these little kids with other people, whoever they might be.
The parents and families of autistic children need a supporting hand, a comfortable shoulder to lean on. They might not ask for it but it doesn’t mean you should not volunteer. Take out some precious moments from your life and use them to make their life easier and better. Just listening to the parents and helping them in small ways can be a huge step towards your aid for autism. Be informed and train your kids so that you can provide a safe and happy environment for the autistic children and their families to relax and unwind. Do your part and make their life a little nicer.