It used to be that if your child or teen had autism spectrum disorder, you had a lot to figure out—and depending on where you lived, perhaps not a lot of help doing that.
Things are different today. From schools to parks and movie theaters to libraries, you’ll find an abundance of places and events designed to help your child feel comfortable and have fun.
The result of this societal shift is that today’s parents aren’t just in survival mode. Rather, they’re reaching out to find activities, events, people and places that will help their children to flourish. Here are a few steps you can take to help your child thrive even more.
You are an Expert on Your Child
You hear so many things about children on the spectrum—some of which have been proven and some of which have not. They don’t like loud noises, do better without gluten, are very organized, like routine, don’t like change … the list goes on and on. Remember that even though your child is on the spectrum, he or she is still a unique individual. As your child grows you start to figure out what your child finds distressing or uncomfortable. You also know what your child finds calming and enjoyable. Use that knowledge to your advantage and communicate that key information to therapists, teachers, day care providers and family members. When your team is armed with that knowledge, you’ll be better prepared for any situation which may arise.
Work Closely with Your Child's School
Most of today’s school districts are prepared and eager to help children and teens on the spectrum to learn in the best possible environment for their particular needs. If you have concerns or questions, reach out to school officials. Together, you can come up with a plan that gives your child the learning environment he or she deserves.
Take Advantage of Opportunities
These days, you’ll find everything from sensory friendly films (the theater is a little less dark and the sound is turned down a bit) to autism-friendly theme parks. As awareness continues to increase, you can expect more initiatives like this, which will make the world a better place for everyone. This is especially true for teens and young adults as they begin to venture out into the world on their own.
Take Advantage of Expert Help
Although you will always be the foremost expert on your child, there’s always something to learn, including information on current research and services which may be available to you. The Autism Society is a good place to get started.
Have Fun and Enjoy Life
Chances are you’ve already mastered this last step. Enjoy life with your child, savoring both the little moments and the big accomplishments. Take pride as you see your teen grow up and become the person you always knew he or she could be. Being a parent is hard work—for everyone—but it’s also one of life’s true joys.
If you suspect that your child has autism spectrum disorder, it’s important to realize how critical early diagnosis is. Or maybe your child is on the spectrum, but you feel he or she is not getting the expert help needed. While you may feel alone, you’re certainly not. More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
Contact us today at 419-660-2700 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you to help your child thrive—and realize any dreams that he or she may have. And be sure not to miss our sensory-friendly holiday event on December 15, 2018! To be held at Norwalk High School in the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center, cookies and pictures with Santa at 10 a.m. and at 11 a.m. we’ll be showing a sensory-friendly version of “The Polar Express”! For more information, check our events calendar or call 419-660-2117 ext. 3040.