Get-hooked October 3, 2020
Four effective tips to calm down a child with autism
Children under autism spectrum disorder tend to get occasional mood swings and tantrums. Parents and caretakers can calm down the child using effective measures. Read on to know how.
Autism can affect overall cognitive, emotional and physical health of an individual in different ways. Most of the times, people with autism lack social skills. But with early intervention and guidance, they can lead a healthy, happy and independent life.
People under the spectrum will also have frequent mood changes that needs to be catered to. This is seen most commonly in children. For some, their moods might go beyond the frequent irritability or tantrums. Parents and caretakers must understand that with expert guidance, it is not a tough task to reach out to the child. Most importantly, it is their love and support that helps the child with autism to get through such tough times.
Poornima Bhat is the founder of Arivu, a center for children with disabilities in Mangaluru.
“There are certain sensory exercises that helps to calm down the brain of children with autism. So parents can learn and teach them to the child. It is important to understand that their expressive language is poor. Routines and consistency is important. But at the same time, introduce some variety to the child’s routine so that it doesn’t get monotonous. Introduce lots of colors to their lives. Art, music and dance therapy also helps to calm down children under the spectrum”, says Bhat.
Here are a few tips on how to calm a child with autism
- Stick to a routine– Ask any experts, and the first thing they would tell the parent of a child with autism is to stick to a routine. Regular meals, therapy, play and bed time is very important because it helps them to do better. It is a stress relief for many kids and most importantly routine add to the learning potential. The child will be happier and at a peace too.
- Appreciate positive behavior– For children with autism, appreciations matters a lot. Needless to say, it is one way of making them happier and calming them down! Did your child listen to you or did something nice? Give them a hug or a small gift. Praise and commend them when they do positive things. Empathy will help to avoid tantrums and negative behavior as the child will learn to have your attention. Parents and caretakers must understand that children with autism cannot control their meltdown. So strictly, no punishments!
- Make your environment comfortable for the child– When a child with autism has a meltdown, parents must immediately understand what went wrong. Some children cannot tolerate loud music or large crowds. So find a place more comfortable for them, something which is cozier. This can be inside your own home or somewhere outdoors. Reach out to the child as soon as they are in a crisis.
- Communicate with your child– It is extremely important how you communicate and bond with your child. Speak to them in a calming and gentle tone. Understand what makes the child comfortable. Pay attention to their needs. If it is a non-verbal child, then you might have to give extra attention and care. Communication with your child is vital in all senses.
Shiny Vinson, Principal of Navajeevan Special School in Kochi says, “Never let the child alone for a long time. Keep them engaged even if it is at home. Teach them new things and let siblings also understand how they can reach out if needed. Children with autism tend to get addicted to gadgets, so reduce screen time. Identify what talents your child has and help them grow. Basically, the child must not be allowed to go into a nutshell. Stick on to routines”.
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