Treat your special needs the right way
Raising a special needs child comes with difficulties but it can also be one of the greatest rewards you will ever have. Special needs are often referred to as different needs which is a much nicer way of phrasing things. These are children, just like any others, but what they require to make them function optimally are different to most others. This is not an active choice on their part, it is simply the way that they were made and as parents it is up to us to respond to those needs to help them reach their fullest potential and be al that they can be. Autism is one of the hardest to understand of these different needs, and we probably aren’t going to scratch the surface here, but we will try. So without further ado here are a few ideas and thoughts to help you if you are raising an autistic child.
Autistic children often struggle with textual issues. There are certain things that repulse them and others which attract them. They won’t just play with anything and they will probably prefer to play alone. Or if they are playing with another child it will be adjacent to the child but not actually interacting with them. It is possible to buy play things that have been designed specifically for children with special needs – although they tend not to be sold in your normal stores. A quick online search for something like ‘autism sensory toys Australia’ should steer you in the right direction. The internet is always a great place to start, order online and hopefully open up a new world of play for your little one.
If you suspect that your child might be on the autistic spectrum it is advised that you seek out treatment quickly. They will not grow out of it by themselves and studies have shown that early interventions lead to the best chances of treatment success.
Autistic children thrive on structure and consistency so go out of your way to create this for them. It takes away a degree of spontaneity from your life but the benefits for the child will be marked. Work out a schedule or plan that allows for regular mealtimes, bedtimes, therapy or school times etc. and do your best to stick to it. If there are going to be changes or interruptions, then warm them in advance.
This is advice that should be implemented by all parents, but it is hard not to do this – don’t compare your child to others. All children are unique, and they all come with their own positives and trouble spots. Your autistic child will be fill with quirks and eccentricities that set them apart as a completely unique individual – celebrate these things, don’t bemoan them. If your child feels unconditionally loved and accepted for who they are they will do much better than if they are able to sense your disappointment, or your wishes that they were more like somebody else’s child.