Learning To Love a Child with Autism

 

It is very difficult to come to terms with the fact that one’s child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Many parents lament on how difficult it is to cope with an autistic child. Some children suffering from autism are often neglected by their parents. One should not be too quick to judge these parents. Imagine trying to communicate with a wall, except for the fact that the wall is, in fact, your child.

It is the nature of any parent to want to communicate and to express unconditional love with their children. It is only a parent of an autistic child that can know how painful and psychologically damaging it can be to be in such a situation.

How do you show love to a child that simply does not understand love? How do you show affection to a child too far gone emotionally?

Source: larrikinpuppets.com.au

Well, to understand the mind and motives of an Autistic child, you must first understand what Autism actually is. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition in which a person is unable to communicate, to show emotions or to express themselves the usual way a person does. To an autistic child, the world is a very complex and scary place.

HOW THEN DO YOU SHOW LOVE TO YOUR CHILD?

Autism has no cure. An autistic child is not likely to get better with age. The first thing you need to do is to come to terms with this. Accept your child for who he or she is. Do not try to forcefully persuade or change an autistic child’s behavior. It will get you nowhere.

Learn To Love Them For What They Are.

Most of all, you have to be very patient. Autistic children can be quite difficult to get through with. You have to understand that they do not know how to show love to others. They are also incapable of showing love to themselves as well. The first step to get through to an autistic child is to guide them. Teach them how to show love to themselves.  In order to show love and convey emotions to others, you must first possess some sort of substantial love from within. Autistic children are devoid of such love and thus, they find it impossible to pass to others.

Helping a child to explore how they feel about themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually will help them to get in touch with their own sense of self. It is this sense of self that will equip them with the necessary love and emotions that their loved ones desire.

 You Can Teach Them How To Love Through Animals.

Source: nytimes.com

Why not start from less complex creatures? Cats and dogs are the most typical example of love and compassion. Unlike human beings who falter from time to time, a dog, for example, will always show unconditional love, care, and loyalty.

A pet will go a long way in teaching your child how to love.

Show Them As Much Love As You Can.

Source: bbc.co.uk

There will be several moments when your efforts to reach out to your child might seem futile and you might consider giving up. It is understandable. However, you should try to use those failed moments as a motivation to try harder. Never lose hope in your child. Try to understand that it is not his/her intention to be difficult and make your life miserable.

Learn to see any misbehavior as an opportunity for teaching a new skill or enhancing one they have not yet mastered.  Establish a way to let your child become aware that it is not them you are upset with, but rather a particular behavior or attitude which they portray.  This will help establish a much stronger bond between you and them. They will feel assured of your love which will help them achieve a better sense of self.

If your child is Autistic, do not blame yourself. It is not your fault.  Know that you are not alone. There are a lot of Autistic children out there. Yours is not the only one.  In the United Kingdom alone, one in every hundred children is autistic.

Despite your best efforts, an autistic child may not be good with conveying emotions as you would like. But, that does not give you any reason to love him or her less.

In all, everyone deserves to be loved including individuals with autism. Let’s learn to show love to them and avoid taunting, stigmatization, or discrimination of people with autism.