Finding out one of your children is autistic can change the whole dynamic of the household. Not only are the parents and the child effected, but so are the other children in the home. Coping with this problem can be difficult because no one knows what to expect. There are ways to make the transition easier. Keeping the lines of communication is one of the most important. However, you have to know what to expect.
There are different ways this situation can go. Your other children can feel neglected because you are giving your autistic child more attention. They may feel left out and lonely. Unfortunately, children are mean and their friends can make fun of them for having an autistic brother or sister. It’s important to give your other children attention and talk to them about their feelings. Don’t be shy to ask your other children how they feel about the situation. They might have some interesting takes or ideas on your autistic child and may be able to contribute to their care.
If your child is feeling neglected, try to set up time where the two of you can spend time together. Go to the movies, grab a bite to eat or just go to the park. Spending time with your child will go a long way in helping the transition in the household. Also, explain to your other children what is going on with your child that has been diagnosed with autism. By understanding what is going on they may feel better about it.
Your normal child might take this opportunity as a way to mature. Seeing the family in need, he or she could have a different reaction than feeling neglected. Your child will want to help out, teaching your autistic child, helping with everyday tasks and using this opportunity as a chance to grow. Your other children might develop a strong bond with the autistic child and want to protect them.
Having an autistic child in the house is a learning lesson to the rest of the family. It will teach them to be tolerant of people with differences. By living with someone who developmental skills, they can be more accepting of classmates and others who are different. Use this as a learning experience for the whole family.
One thing you want to try is having a family night where everyone in the house gets together. Perhaps this is one night of the week where the entire family meets for dinner or has a movie night. Any way you do it this is a great way to get everyone together and share each other’s day. Talking to your family members and keeping the lines of communication open is important to any environment. Make sure to keep your other children’s feelings in perspective.
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