Brian Colpak on Coping with an Autistic Child
When you have a child with Autism, there are days when it can become overwhelming. The workload of raising a child is already high, but raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be incredibly demanding.
However, when you start to understand what your child is going through and how to work with them, it becomes easier. You begin to form a stronger connection with them. In this article, Brian Colpak will give you some advice on how to parent a child with ASD and how it can be different from raising a neuro-typical child.
Providing them a stable routine can be a massive boon for everyone involved. Set up a sleep schedule as well as predictable mealtimes. This will help your child know what to expect throughout the day, giving them less anxiety. Children on the spectrum often have thought processes that are set in stone and will not react well to a sudden change in structure. The emphasis here is to establish a clear start and endpoint to your daily routine and stick with it. You can factor playtime into that schedule as well, finding activities that you know they like. You want them to be relaxed in their routines so that they open up with you.
Patience, Patience, and More Patience
There are going to be many times where your child simply isn’t going to behave. And this is obviously more true than it is with a neuro-typical child. Understand that often a tantrum isn’t them flipping out for no reason. Instead, they are most likely upset about something specific. Often the culprit is a sudden change in their typical structure or something that has gone wrong that they didn’t expect.
Other times, they’re upset by something that may not even make sense to you. Whatever the case may be, you must do your best not to lose your temper. They want help, they want to be loved like any other child, and scolding them harshly will only make them either lash out more or lock themselves away.
Enroll In a Social Group
Have your child join a social group to connect with other parents and to have your child make friends with other ASD children. These kinds of groups are run by specialists who give the children activities that are set up to focus on improving their social skills. Having friends and getting regular social interaction is critical for the mental development of your child, doubly so for a child on the spectrum.
Get Professional Services For Them
Find out what your state and county offers in the way of services for your autistic child. In many states, your child will qualify for free healthcare and prescriptions as well as services such as therapeutic support specialists (TSS) and mobile behavior therapy at school, in your home as well as in the community. Some school districts will even provide a one-on-one educational aide for your child in the classroom.
Above all else, love your child unconditionally. Give them the tools they need to get through the trials of life. Show them that there is nothing to fear and that they have a friend they can count on every step of the way.
About Brian Colpak
Brian Colpak is a tech entrepreneur and the founder of Continental Global. After spending most of his career in managerial positions, he founded and led a company that was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in Massachusetts before starting his current company. These days his main focus is on an upcoming project in Dubai.