6 Tips on Living with Autism

Learn six tips about living with autism from pediatrician and child development expert Asma J. Sadiq, M.D. in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So, just to mention a few of the tips to live with a child with an autism spectrum disorder. There are many things you can do and you really again have to tailor it to your particular child and the age of the child.

For example, a younger toddler who has no sense of danger, you have to make the environment safer. If you're finding the child is very sensitive to certain sounds like a simple hairdryer or vacuum cleaner and that really disregulates and upsets your child, I would be careful with that.

The more you can prepare and adjust the environment for your child, the easier your life is going to be. A lot of children with the autism spectrum issues really do well with structure and routine and predictability because that makes them feel safe and they have difficulty with transitioning. So the more you can create of that in your home environment, it's going to be easier.

Since we know these children have speech and language issues and communication is a problem, finding tools that'll help your child communicate is very important. Often using visual cues, particularly for a child who is very language delayed or maybe even non-verbal, using the picture system or having social stories where you can prepare the child ahead of time is very important.

Keeping a particular space that is safe for the child where they can go and self-regulate. Some children really get overstimulated and get calmed down by massage or by brushing, for example, or some children need the exercise and they can jump on a trampoline and that calms them down afterwards. So based on your particular child, you will create little accommodations in your living environment. The more you can plan, the more you can predict, the less tantrums you will have and the less meltdowns.

Another area that I would definitely focus on is look at food. Look if your child has any food allergies or food intolerances and that can be a trigger for a child's distress or behavioral outburst. So these are little tips that you need to be aware of and be vigilant about different environments that the child is going into. Be prepared for that. If the child has auditory sensitivity issues and they're going out to a noisy mall. They will let you know that distresses them and you will live through it once to get prepared and you will develop your tip, but do mention it and also speak to parents. I find parents support groups and blogs very helpful for other tips because parents can teach each other and help each other with ideas as to what worked with their particular child, and you become the little professor actually for your own child. There are many tips and strategies you can get from books, from other parents but you'll have to tailor it for your child and his or her needs.

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