PARENTS GUIDE TO AUTISM
Parents usually feel a range of emotions when first learning of their child’s Autism. One of those is shock, mainly because if they’ve never experienced being around someone with autism, it can be a scary ordeal. At the same time though, they are often relieved, mainly because they at least now have a reason for their child’s quirky behaviors.
We have all heard the term, “Ignorance is bliss”. Well, in the case of Autism, ignorance is NOT bliss and never should be. The total opposite is true. Knowledge is power. Once someone finds out about Autism, (and there is a lot of information out there on it these days). Then it becomes clear that it’s not as scary as it seems.
For one of the reasons is… Autism is not a disease! It’s a neurological disorder. It in itself cannot kill a person. However, the person who has it, is born with it, and will have it their entire life.
Autism is also invisible to the untrained eyes of the general public.
Meaning, people with autism look like everyone else, there’s no visible characteristics that tell people, I have autism.
Unlike someone with Cerebral Palsy or Downs Syndrome, who are easily spotted, people with Autism, and all their quirky mannerisms, and behaviors, (especially children) they look like their the result of poor parenting skills, and the general public will point, sneer and often, if brazen enough, make rude comments to the parents.
Their behaviors/meltdowns in public are due to sensory problems.
These people cannot usually handle crowds or noisy close knit areas. This often results in sensory overload, and if there’s no where to run, the person explodes into a meltdown of epic proportion.
Sleeping habits are often disturbed or disrupted in people with autism. Keeping a diary of the child’s sleep habits will in turn help the doctor find and prescribe the right medicine or tools for fixing the problem. It’s often solved by altering and /or modifying bedtime routine, or sometimes giving them a sleep aid.
Eating habits are often affected, in a big way. Most children with autism may or may not have been picky eaters before autism made it’s debut in their lives, and if they were good eaters, then the parents soon noticed early on that suddenly the child’s eating habits were horrible.
Sensory issues like smell and taste play a part in this where, squishy or soft foods that were previously tolerated are no longer, and vice versa. They obsess over certain foods and often will eat ONLY those foods. It is important for the parents to maybe find a nutritionist that deals with autistic children to help reshape their food preferences so that they get a balanced diet, as much as possible.
Education plays the biggest role here; Once a child is diagnosed as autistic. It is of utmost importance that he or she is enrolled in school. As early as age 3.
For more info on Autism
Contact The Autism Society of America