Tag Archives: Environmental Stimuli

Question?: Angry Autistic Child

Lisa asks…

How to handle a child with autism?

I have a little boy that goes to my church that is 5 years old. He has autism. I am asked by his grandmother to watch him ALOT. He always runs away or misbehaves and i have no training in this type of disease. How do you communicate and talk to kids with autism?
As I said in this question, I know NOTHING about autism. I don’t mean to affend in any way

admin answers:

First of all i have a child with autism and its not a disease and as a parent with a child with autism you just offened me its a devlopmetl disabilty please dont put it that way

in my words it would be like 100 pages i found a good list for you

Social management
Behavioural management
Scholastic management

Autism is a communication disorder characterised by a child’s inability to relate to the outside world – physically and emotionally. These children are usually hypersensitive to external environmental stimuli and seem to be withdrawn into an inside world only they have access to. In such a situation, autistic children need special and individualised care from their parents and other caregivers. Here are some guidelines to help deal with an autistic child’s needs.

Social management:

Try to make eye contact with the child.

Organise the child’s environment and daily activities into a routine. Autistic children respond well to routine, which helps them to create order in their world. This could be done by keeping fixed times for food, play and other activities like taking a bath, sleeping, etc.

Provide prior warning of any change in routine – physical or otherwise. For example, if the furniture of the child’s room needs to be moved, the child should be told and allowed to get used to the idea, before the change is made.

Getting angry at the child’s tantrum will not help. In such a case, it is better to allow the child to calm down and then repeat the instructions.

Taking the child to crowded places should be avoided, at least till behavioural therapy has made him more accepting of such outings.

Behavioural management:

Talk to the child in simple and uncomplicated language. Long and subtle sentences should be avoided. For example, instead of saying, “Rahul, would you please come and sit here”, it is better to say, “Rahul, sit here” while pointing to the destination with a finger.

Touch the child often. Though an autistic child will frequently rebuff any effort to touch, research has shown that they begin to respond to touch sooner or later. Instead of making overt efforts to touch the child, a parent should try to make subtle advances like lead the child by holding the arm lightly, or a gentle nudge from behind etc.

The child should be talked to often, rather than waiting for him to initiate conversation. Any effort to talk on the child’s part should be effusely praised. Gradually the child can be encouraged to initiate conversation on his own.

Taking the child’s name every time he is addressed is essential. However, pronouns should be taken care of while talking to him since most autistic children who talk tend to reverse pronouns, using “You” instead of “I” and vice versa. So it may be better to say, “Rahul, YOU can have toast”, rather than “Rahul can have toast”.

It is better to ensure consistency in discipline and demands since autistic children tend to take everything literally. Once a limit or target has been set, it is better to adhere to it at that time. For example, if the time for play has been set for 4 o clock and the parent wants to postpone it, it is better to tell the child, “Rahul we will play at 5”, rather than saying, “We will do that later”.

Scholastic management:

Use visual media as far as possible with background auditory stimuli. For example, while telling a story, the child should preferably be shown a picture book simultaneously. Unlike other children, an autistic child might like to hear the same story everyday providing him with a sense of routine and order.

Give clear, simple and literal tasks to a child to complete and let him finish it before moving on to another activity.

Do not rush the child into keeping pace with others.

The teaching material may be increased in complexity with time.

The child should be encouraged to interact with peers.

Positive reinforcement should be given if the child makes eye contact, speaks, completes an activity or curbs repetitive behaviour. Praise should be effusive. For example., say “Rahul that was excellent. You have done well”, instead of “That was good”.

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Autism and Support Groups

The internet has become a popular tool in the development of an autistic community. It provides an area for conversation and the development of interpersonal relationships while eliminating the environmental stimuli that often confuses and is misinterpreted by autistic individuals, such as non-verbal cues and emotional sharing. People with autism tend to find it hard to interact with these two things. Unfortunately however, because of the way autistic perceive their environments and compute certain facts, the internet can also be dangerous and unhealthy. An autistic person may find it hard to determine whether someone is lying to them or not and the internet is a plethora of scams and misconceptions. Not to mention the fact that it can be a prime source of bullying and teasing as well. Yet an autistic person while being more susceptible to such ‘games’ won’t know the farce that is right in front of them. Despite this however, in recent years there has been an outpouring of autistic groups and discussion boards geared towards the social lives of these individuals. All in all, the internet has proved beneficial in allowing autistic children to communicate somewhat clearly on their own behalf.

A bridge between the above ‘world’ and that of the one they live in can be found in the retreat/seminar known as Autreat. This retreat is hosted by Autism Network International and is for autistic people, instead of other such retreats which seem to be more about them than anything else. Autreat offers a sensory free environment and the attendees are in no way pressured to interact or socialize. They can do what they want at a pace comfortable to them. Other such retreats have formed as well, some hosting interactive communication tools via the internet that allow a group of people to converse with each other as if in an online chat room despite being in the same room. All of this is done for the comfort of the autistic individual so as to allow them to have some sort of social life.

It is important to understand that Autism is more a way of life than anything else. An individual has no control over how they are born, vis. the chemical makeup of the brain and genetics. It is essential then to put forth the effort at making said individual comfortable with the world they were born into and able to utilize what tools they have to live a balanced life in it. Autistic children may see things differently, they may learn and perceive things in a way that we don’t understand or cannot interpret, but this doesn’t make them any less of a person than anyone else. Autism isn’t a disease that is to be cured. It is a different way of perception in life that people should seek to understand. If people would think of autistic children in this light and work to accept them as individuals and help them understand the world they live in, everyone would be much happier with the results. Nothing is going to fix overnight, but the future can be bright for everyone involved.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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