How to Help Build Independence For Your Child with Autism
There are many parents with children who suffer from autism, and this article provides information on how you can help your child with autism build independence. Autism is a developmental disability that affects how people communicate, behave and learn. A person with autism may have difficulty showing emotion and socializing with others because of the way they view their world. This article is beneficial if you are looking for different ways to teach your autistic child the cognitive and social skills related to independent activity.
Building Confidence and Competence in Choices
A parent’s ability to help a child with autism build their independence refers to the child’s ability to do things for themselves. Each child can gain levels of independence as they develop an emotional and intellectual understanding of what is required of them. This correlates to a child learning about expectations, consequences, and their place within a family group, or the world around them.
Autonomy building is a life skill that many children with autism will need to learn. These skills include both independence and interdependence. Independence refers to a person’s ability to participate in their daily activities without the assistance of others. Interdependence refers to a person’s ability to involve others in their daily activities. It is the balance of the two that helps one to live a more normal life. Family members can support autonomy development by respecting the child’s preferences and help them to make positive and logical choices that keep them safe and healthy whenever possible.
Cultivate Positive Self-Esteem
Promoting positive self-esteem is a must for a child with autism. Being independent means that you are able to do things for yourself and that you are confident when doing so. Teaching children with autism that they don't have to have assistance from someone else to do basic tasks can be a liberating feeling for both the parents and the child. You can build your child’s self-esteem by helping them understand their place within the family unit is valuable, and use clear, communicative techniques to help him or her build self-esteem. This can be achieved in many different ways but ultimately starts with showing compassion, remaining patient, and praising the child when he or she makes progress.
Encourage Comfortable Social Interactions Early
The social environment is an important part of building independence, and helping your child engage in regular social activities can expand his or her options for an independent lifestyle exponentially. We are expected within a society to follow certain norms for public peace and order. Teaching your child these core practices and allowing them to learn it in a supervised setting (such as a school, daycare, or playground ) can help them learn to adapt better and be more comfortable in typical social settings. Everyone goes through stages where they may crave more or less social activity, and an autistic child should get the opportunity as well. Every case is different, and caring parents must be willing to adjust accordingly.
With each experience, they can learn to build working social strategies to get along. A child with autism will grow into an adult one day, and it is crucial that he or she has appropriate interactions with others, and is comfortable as possible socially. Encourage politeness, courtesy, and moral interactions with others early, so that your child with autism has a wider perspective and has a better sense of what is expected of him or her (and other people) in the world. The more opportunities that your child with autism has to behave in a social setting, the easier it will become for them to adapt and move in a social setting to accomplish a goal or achieve a good result. in the future With familiarity in social situations and a plan, he or she may work a regular job, participate in community functions, run their own business, and even get married one day.
Allow for Structured Independence
When getting your child involved in activities and even if it is just for an hour, this will help build their independence. If you normally don’t leave your child in the room alone, try giving the child a safer place to explore on his or her own without having to ask you for help. Many parents who do this may be surprised to see that their autistic child has picked on up all kinds of skills that they only need the chance to use and develop. You will want to make sure that the activity you choose is age-appropriate for them. It is important to find activities that will help them progress socially and build individual skills. It is also recommended that you get your child involved in some type of group activities with other kids their age. This will give them the chance to become more familiar with others and will help them learn more about themselves.
Use Play to Cultivate Independence
The art of play has a way of building skills and abilities that the normal teaching process may not excel at. Toys that represent public places and norms in society can be helpful with building the familiarity necessary to become more independent. In some cases, autism and trains is realistic and symbolic as it represents a predictable schedule and the orderly way of things to the autistic child. Learning how to follow a routine and repeat it can be helpful by playing with toys that encourage higher-order thinking and social skill development.
Consider a Pet
Getting a pet dog, cat, or other animal may be helpful for a child with autism. Taking care of an animal allows the child to build a sense of responsibility and obligation for taking care of something that they care about or love. The act of caring for a pet is also connected to developing survival skills (food, shelter, time to rest) that are important for independence.
Building independence takes time, but you can help your child with autism get on the right path of moving forward month after month, and year after year by taking proactive steps to build the skills that expand opportunities. Every autistic child is different, but giving them the opportunity to learn and grow and get through daily living and social activities by themselves (or with less assistance over time) may be the hardest, but potentially greatest action that they can do. As your child learns and grows at his or her own pace, that can become more confident in themselves and independent in this life.