In caring for children with special needs, it is important to identify the individual needs and unique requirements of every child. Research has shown that autistic kids have different levels of challenges and developmental hampers, and thus varying levels of help needed with autism.
The first category in which the kid requires some level of support is when he is capable of some level of social communication. He speaks well but struggles to hold a conversation and connect with his peers. In the second category, the kid requires substantial support for he can speak simple sentences but always only about his interest. The final category requires very high level of care as they are not capable of verbal and nonverbal social communications. In all the categories, the common feature is restricted repetitive behaviors exhibited at different levels and in different ways.
Consider the following in caring for the needs of special kids:
It is very important that children with autism spectrum disorder are treated with love and understanding at all times. It can be very difficult for parents, siblings and family members to effectively manage and care for an autistic child. Seeing the disabilities as abilities, practicing patience and being very empathetic are very important if they are to overcome the challenges.
Autistic children benefit more from programs that are highly personalized as each kid’s strength and weaknesses differ. The most effective programs come with a very high level of consistency and sustainability. ASD children do well with a well-defined routine and a program that speaks to their needs, interest, and challenges.
Most autistic kids are very sensitive. Adequate provisions can be made to ensure that their environment is not hostile to them. Sometimes, the lighting in the room may be too bright so it is necessary to adjust its brightness. It may be that the smell from the kitchen is irritating and unpleasant to them or maybe even the music is too loud for them just like the sound of the crying baby, the washing machine or the coffee machine etc. Care must be taken towards identifying the tolerance levels of each of their senses and how to best provide a safe and secure environment for them.
Children with special needs require different levels of educational training and social interactions coaching. They need help in communicating their inner thoughts. Some may not be capable of verbal communications, reading facial expressions and body languages. It is probably best to teach them how to communicate and also encourage them to know how to react and be around their peers and ultimately join them in the playground.
In place of verbal instructions, kids with ASD perform better when they are able to see what they are being taught and can easily come back to it anytime. Just as learning takes time with everybody, it is important to be patient and be willing to repeat the visual lessons over and over again.
Meltdowns and blow-ups are commonplace with ASD kids. Parents and caregivers need to be experts on the causes of such episodes. Usually, it’s a way of communication for autistic kids when their senses have been exposed beyond their limits and the people or environmental settings take them to the edge of their social abilities.
Sometimes, children with ASD may not be able to express themselves verbally. It is best for the parents or primary caregiver to understand the signs and effectively interpret the body language and facial expressions in order to effectively deal with the issues as they occur.