If you have a child who’s showing signs of autism, you can take comfort in knowing that he or she can still live a happy and fulfilling life. Many children with autism struggle in reaching their developmental milestones that normally come on their own. Thankfully, there are professional programs and aid available to help them identify and overcome inhibitions that keep them from reaching their goals. Getting the right care for your child can help ensure lifelong success. Here are some of the most effective strategies for helping children with autism in reaching their full potential.
Get a Proper Diagnosis
The first thing that you should do if you suspect that your son or daughter has autism is to get a proper diagnosis from a trained and reputable specialist. Autism can sometimes be diagnosed in children who are 18 months of age or younger if they're already starting to show signs. According to the lifelong success, specialists often use developmental screening and comprehensive diagnostic evaluations to determine if children have the condition. Developmental screening can gauge whether children are learning basic skills for their age, while a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is a more comprehensive review that examines behavior and may also involve neurological, genetic and other medical tests. While you may feel like this is just putting a label on your child, having the proper diagnosis can help doctors know what to look for in developmental shortcomings and effectively move your child beyond them. It is also important to discuss the diagnosis with your child when they are old enough to understand so that their symptoms don’t come across as mysterious and scary to them.
See a Children’s Therapist
If your child has been diagnosed with autism, seeing a children’s therapist can help your son or daughter adapt better to everyday life. The best therapists know how to help autistic children manage their emotions and behaviors more effectively. Applied behavior analysis, relationship development intervention and sensory integration are different types of therapies that often work well for young people with autism. If you live in New Jersey, you can take your child to a leading NJ children’s therapy center to receive comprehensive care. Visiting a specialist who provides children’s physical therapy in NJ will also be a good idea if your child struggles with motor skills, which is common with autistic children. The sooner they begin getting assistance, both physically and behaviorally, the easier things will be for them as adults.
Undergo Speech Therapy
Depending on where your child is on the autism spectrum, he or she may face challenges with pronouncing words and articulating thoughts. Even though this is not a sign of lesser cognitive ability, communication issues like these can make it hard for your child to perform both socially and academically. A qualified speech therapist can help your child develop better communication skills through games, puzzles and other fun activities. Other creative methods for getting your child to listen and repeat words can be used to facilitate progress. With autism, the issue is not so much in the interest of the child in speaking, but in a delay with making connections in the language centers of the brain. Modern technology has also made it easier for speech therapists to access tools to assist autistic children with speech development. With patience and time, most autistic children can become as verbally adept as any their age.
Find a Gastroenterologist
WebMD states that kids with autism are four times more likely to experience digestive problems than the general population. This often stems from genetic conditions that often accompany autism, such as auto-immune disorders, and from the generalized and social anxiety that often accompany autism. Finding a good gastroenterologist can help your son or daughter manage chronic stomach problems easier with the right treatment. It is also important to note that many children with autism have difficulties with cow milk, causing a variety of symptoms from stomach upset to habitual spinning. Removing inflammatory substances from their diet, such as gluten, has also helped many who suffer from autism in the past. No dietary exclusions should be made, however, without consulting with a licensed dietician to ensure that your child still has access to a fully balanced diet.
You can help your son or daughter who may have autism establish a better foundation for life by getting the proper support. Implementing the recommended treatments can help your child overcome or at least better manage some of the challenges that come with having autism. Remember that autism is diagnosed on a spectrum, and not every child will have every symptom. It is important that you identify what symptoms cause your child trouble early on so that by the time they are older, they have a system in place to manage their symptoms and achieve their personal goals of wellness.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.