Sometimes it appears as if the only predictive aspect that existence has to throw at us is uncertainty, the only consistent aspect, the very lack of consistency. Any way you look at it, it’s hard to deny the fact that autistic children are confusing, even for those who deal with it on a daily basis. A child with autism may appear ‘normal, but their behavior can be confusing and very challenging.
1. They are essentially a child before an “autistic children”.
Their autism is just one part of their personality. It is not what determines who they are as a human being. Are you a person with a wealth of thoughts, feelings, and skills, or are you just fat (you are overweight), nearsighted (you wear glasses), or clumsy (your coordination is poor and you suck at sports)? These are the first things they notice about other persons, but you may not be just that.
2. Their sensory perceptions are disturbed. They are just autistic children
Sensory integration may be the hardest aspect to perceive, but it’s the most important. Everyday sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches that are so commonplace you may not even be aware of them can actually be extremely distressing. The environment they are forced to live in often feels hostile. It may seem closed off or aggressive, but know that they are only trying to protect themselves. For all sorts of reasons, a ‘simple’ trip to the supermarket can be a real ordeal for them.
Hearing of those kids can be hypersensitive. Dozens of people talking at the same time. Loudspeakers announce the day’s specials to the accompaniment of “musak”. The clatter of cash registers, a machine grinding coffee, another slicing meat. Babies cry, shopping trolleys squeak, neon lights flicker. Their brain can no longer filter out all these stimuli, and it’s overload.
3. separate what they don’t want to do from what they can’t do
Responsive and expressive language and vocabulary can be very real difficulties. Don’t think they are not listening. The trouble is that they don’t get what you’re saying.
4. Autistic kids are concrete, which means they take things literally.
A kid gets confused when he/she hears phrases like “We’re braking!” when all you mean is “Stop running”. Don’t tell them “It’s a piece of cake” when there’s no dessert insight and if you really mean “It’s a piece of cake”.
5. Be patient if their vocabulary is limited.
It’s hard for them to tell you what they need when words are not enough. The kid may be hungry, frustrated, scared, or lost, but at the moment he or she needs it, the words to say it is denied them. Pay attention to their attitude, signs of withdrawal, restlessness, or discomfort because autistic children are the same as normal children.
6. Because these kids have major problems with language, they are visual.
Show your kid how things are done instead of explaining them to them. And don’t be afraid to do it over and over again. It is these repetitions that help them learn.
7. Be interested in what they can do, instead of being interested in what they can’t do.
Like anyone else, they can’t learn in an environment that constantly makes them think they are not good and that they need to “level up”. Starting themself on something new when pretty sure they are going to get criticism, even if it’s “constructive”, makes them refuse the obstacle. Look for their strengths and you will find them. There is not normally one ” correct” method of getting things done.
8. Help me in my interactions.
They may not look like they want to play with playmates on the playground because they are not autistic like them, but those kids may not be able to have a conversation or participate in play either. If you encourage other children to invite them to their ball games,they might be happy.
9. Try to identify what makes them tick.
Their tantrums, outbursts, whatever you call them, are even worse for them than they are for you. They happen because one or more of their senses is overloaded. If they understand what triggers them in autistic kids, you can help to avoid them. Pay attention to times, situations, people, and activities. You might find out their pattern.
10. If you are one of their family members, love them unconditionally.
Banish thoughts like “If only she would just…” or “Why can’t he just…” when talking to autistic children. You haven’t met all your parents‘ expectations either, and you wouldn’t want to be reminded of that at any time. They didn’t choose life with autism.