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How to Help Autistic Children Develop New Skills

Every parent goes the extra mile to ensure their child is happy and hale. However, having an autistic child can be a challenging drawback. This is because, as we already know, autism affects the child’s ability to socialize, learn, and express themselves. But when done carefully, introducing some new skills to your autistic child will help him prevail over a myriad of developmental challenges and prosper better in life. Using different approaches, you can slowly teach your autistic child social skills, and, over time, they will learn how to act in various social situations. With this having been laid down, here are some tips on how to help your child develop new skills if they suffer from ASD.

Playing Skills

Playing with your child will help you have a stronger bond. It can help children develop motor skills, share toys, follow the rules in a game, take turns, and explore the environment. For instance, you can come up with a game where you take turns like seeking games and have laid down rules. Seek each other in turns in the backyard and if they win, congratulate them and give them kudos! You can bet they will not only enjoy but learn a lot. This can also be used as part of pivotal response training (PRT), a therapeutic approach that involves rewarding positive behavior to teach the child new skills. The best thing about PRT specifically targets various pivotal areas, including motivation, initiation, self-regulation, and responding to multiple cues.

Communication Skills

Communication is a vital part of our lives. It facilitates our interaction with other people. Teaching children communication skills is a perfect way of helping them develop effective ways of conveying their needs and understanding how to interact with the community around him. It will help in reducing outbursts and self-injurious behavior.

You can, for instance, come up with gestures or signals that show you he wants to use the bathroom, when he feels threatened, or when he is hungry. Teaching an autistic child communication skills can be a bit taxing, and it will require patience. Embracing some of these simple steps will help your child develop these imperative skills.

Self Care Skills

Self-care skills are inevitable – they revolve around our daily lives. Teaching your autistic child these skills will go a long way in increasing his self-confidence and help him gain independence at home and in the community around him. Learning these skills at an early age will help them become more responsible for a successful future. Gaining mastery of these skills will require practice. Teaching them early will be equally important for the children to be able to embrace them in his daily routine as he grows up.

For instance, when the child wakes up, it needs to make the bed, brush its teeth, take a shower, and so forth. Once they develop a time schedule, the dos, and don’ts, let them start doing it on their own. Always remember to give a thumbs-up after a successfully completed task. This will boost their confidence as they progress.  

Emotional Skills

Autistic children mostly have difficulties when it comes to communicating their emotions or acknowledging the motions of other people. They easily get emotional outbursts and feel agitated, which causes them to throw fits of rage that are too difficult to control at times. To help the child understand how to deal with negative emotions, like annoyance, frustrations, or stress will be extremely important.

You can help with the use of pictures on how to express happiness, anger, boredom, or any other form of emotion. You can help the child sketch down an emotional level chart, which it can be filling in depending on his emotions.

Safety Skills

The world is undoubtedly getting unsafe by the day due to the towering cases of abductions. Teaching your children safety skills will be paramount to keep them safe. Unfortunately, kids with autism lack a sense of danger or risk, which puts them in a more fragile place both at home and in school. This is a major worry for parents. But there are a few ways you can reduce this worry.

For instance, you could teach your child about stranger danger awareness like how to say no to strangers, or the importance of wearing a safety belt while in a vehicle. You can use story narration in depicting real-life cases. Teaching safety skills will help your child keep safe even when you are not around.

To sum it up, teaching basic social skills to an autistic child is not everyone’s cup of tea. It will require patience from your side before the child gets to understand and practice these worthy skills. The above are just a few examples of how you can go about it.