It is never easy to learn that your child has a developmental condition. Here is how you cope.
What is autism?
According to Autism Speaks, “autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication”.
People with autism often having trouble understanding what other people think and feel.
What causes autism?
Experts have not yet discovered why autism occurs. Theories suggest that it could stem from problems in the brain interrupting sensory input. Because autism can be hereditary, your child may have a higher risk of developing the condition if someone in your family has autism. When pregnant women are exposed to certain drugs or chemical, the child is more likely to develop the condition.
What to do?
Because there is not cure for autism, parents often struggle to cope. However, there are two main types of treatment:
- Behavioral and communication therapy This will help with structure and organization. This treatment encourages positive behavior as it discourages negative behavior from your child. But remember, your child must learn to cope as well. This treatment is also beneficial when completing everyday tasks such as eating, dressing, and having interpersonal relationships.
- Medication While some parents do not agree with this method, some medications have been shown to improve anxiety, hyperactivity, and focus in children with autism.
When does autism appear?
“Autism usually appears before a child is 3 years old. Some signs of autism may be evident as early as 10 to 12 months, and certainly by 18 months.”
- Lack of eye contact
- Difficulty adapting to changes in routine
- Heightened sensitivity to senses (smell, touch, taste, sight, earing)
- Repetitive habits (rocking back and forth, repeating words or phrases)
Coping for Parents
If you have a child with autism, it is important to learn all you can. Your child relies on you. Stay up to date with research on the condition as it may be beneficial to your child. Having a support system or finding other parents whose child has autism is recommended. These types of networks will be helpful to both you and your child.
1. “What is Autism.” Autism Speak, https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism. Accessed April 22, 2020.
2. “Parenting A Child with Autism.” Web MD, https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/children-with-autism-coping-skills-for-parents. Accessed April 23, 2020.