How Do I Parent My 3 Year Old With Autism?

Parenting: young child

Parenting a young child with autism can feel stressful. Parent your 3-year-old with autism by understanding autism, using positive reinforcement, and getting support.

Parenting a young child with autism can feel stressful. Your child might have behaviors that put a strain on your family, but these aren’t your or your child’s fault. Your child simply needs discipline, support, and guidance, and using a positive parenting approach is best.

First, understand your child’s autism

Autism affects the way your child’s brain works and how they behave, communicate, and experience the world. There are some common signs of autism, but it is a spectrum of behaviors, and everybody with autism is different. 

Some children display very few autistic behaviors while others have more. Sometimes these look like bad behavior, but it’s not always something your child can control. Learn as much as you can about autism and know how it affects your child. That way, you can focus on exactly what your child needs. 

Embrace your child

Some of your child’s behaviors might look odd to other people, but you don’t need to stop them or fix them. As long as your child isn’t hurting themselves or others, embrace their quirks and their interests. 

Remind yourself that it’s not a tantrum

Your child might find some situations overwhelming. That’s because autism makes it hard for your child to adjust to change, and it causes sensitivity to the way things taste, smell, sound, and feel.  

Your child might act out when you’re in public places or when they’re stressed. They might scream or hit and bite, but for a young child with autism, this isn’t naughtiness. It’s what’s often called a meltdown. 

Meltdowns can happen because changes make them anxious or they become totally overwhelmed by the sounds and smells around them and they lose control. Rather than get frustrated and stressed, remind yourself that they aren’t doing it on purpose and adjust your expectations.

Know their triggers

If your child has lots of meltdowns or reacts with chaotic behavior a lot, learn the triggers. Keep a diary of when your child gets overwhelmed and see if you find patterns. It might be a certain time of day or when you change the routine throughout the day. 

Minimize triggers

Once you know the triggers, do what you can to lower them. If noises are too much, try noise-canceling headphones. If changes in your routine are an issue, use consistency. Keep your schedule the same as much as possible and use visual tools like pictures and stories to show what’s coming next. 

Intervene early

Your child will usually show you signs that they’re becoming overwhelmed by what’s happening around them. They might start:

  • Pacing
  • Asking the same questions again and again
  • Rocking
  • Spinning
  • Other stimming behaviors

Stimming is the repetitive behavior that your child with autism does to calm and regulate their body. They might stim more when they’re stressed, which can be a sign a meltdown is coming. Watch for signs and step in early. Distract your child or move to a calm area and use soothing techniques like fidget toys or music. 

Being proactive and paying attention to your child’s behavior can help you avoid problems before they start. You won’t avoid all meltdowns or problems, but it will set you both up for success and help manage stress and challenging behavior.

Source link

Back to top button