Friend of mine reached out to me few days back. He told me how challenging it was for him and his wife during this difficult time with their child with autism. I was very happy to listen and try to help. Actually, it was this very reason for building this website; for me it’s about helping others who are going through the same challenges.
Part of the advice that stuck out was preparing a child for the next day. Children with autism are very dependent on a fixed schedule and variations to that routine can sometimes have a dramatic effect. Actually, if not carefully managed it can be a traumatic situation; they will not coupe very well to the changes and might have an emotional outburst. To avoid these type of circumstances we must do our part as parents and teachers to prepare our children everyday. Here are my tips, I call them Sunday’s 5 Steps:
- Role Play – sitting down with a child and pretend to be them can be very effective. Use this method to explain things and let him “see” themselves through your eyes.
- Good & Bad Behavior – identify what is good and bad behavior; with the idea that adjusting to situations is part of having a good day.
- Sunday’s Game Plan – sitting down with your child and walk him/her through the events of the week or the next day is critical. It does not have to be Sunday but I choose it because it’s the start of the week for us.
- Rewards – acknowledge when they do good and talk about the rewards that come with good work and behavior.
- Putting it All Together – by combining these techniques you should see significant progress over time. Adding it as your weekly routine is important.