Children with autism can present a wide variety of challenges for their parents. Autism is not limited to only one set of symptoms. Children who are identified as having autism are referred to as being “on the spectrum,” since autism can present with a full spectrum of complex symptoms.
1. When You Need to Recognize Your Child’s Diagnosis
Autism is the name of a group of behavioral and physical symptoms. No child with autism is precisely like another child that has a diagnosis of autism. Because autism will affect many aspects of a child’s life, it’s wise to call an integrated team of professionals, who can work together to provide in-home parent training for autism.
Some autistic children will be mute or may be unable to speak intelligibly. Other autistic children may speak clearly yet will struggle with social disorders or with learning disabilities. Parents often turn to educational and psychological professionals for assistance relating to their autistic children.
The extra challenges presented by autistic children will impact every member of the family and will severely disrupt the family dynamic. Therapists who specialize in working with families of children on the autism spectrum traditionally prefer to provide in-home parent training for autism in children. Therapists prefer home therapy since home is where these problems arise. By addressing the family’s problems at home, in their comfort zone, the training team is more likely to find a solution that is appropriate for every family member.
2. When You Need to Understand Your Autistic Child
Some children on the autism spectrum are born mute (unable to speak). Other children may use echolalia (repeating the same word endlessly.) Children whose symptoms are this profound may be unable to walk or to provide personal care for themselves. Some of these children may be able to use communication technology, like language boards.
Autistic individuals who can speak frequently have difficulty relating to others. Autistic individuals often misread social cues or blurt out their thoughts – even if the thoughts are inappropriate. The team may also help your child learn to recognize the cues in body language, including their own. Using in-home parent training for autism will help your children learn more appropriate ways to communicate.
Children who are on the spectrum prize their daily routine. If their daily routines are disrupted, the child can become enraged. They can also become fixated on certain toys or on a specific seat at the table. They often avoid eye contact during personal interaction, and personal touch – like hugs – can make them feel uncomfortable.
3, When Your Child Needs Surgery
Since one of the physical facial characteristics of autism is a larger-sized mouth, it stands to reason these children tend to be at risk for more dental problems than do other children. If their facial irregularities severely affect their jaw, they may need maxillofacial treatment. These surgeries are done to correct severe jaw disorders.
One of the early signs of autism can be head lag, which can occur as early as six months. If the baby’s head doesn’t remain upright when placed in a seated position, it signals a neuromuscular defect that is common in children on the autism spectrum. This disorder is rarely severe enough to warrant a neck and face lift, although if it persists indefinitely, the child’s parents may consider the surgery.
Any parent whose child needs surgery will want time to prepare their child and themselves. Children on the autism spectrum are affected more intensely by all aspects of surgery and will need more vigorous support from patients and the healthcare team. If the family is already receiving in-home parent training for autism, the upcoming surgery will become one of the issues the team can help the family explore. Placing some items like their favorite DVDs, a stuffed animal, or a lucky charm in their hospital suitcase will help your child get through their procedure.
4. When Your Child Needs An Orthodontist
Autistic children have unique problems with dental treatments. The harsh lights, the unusual smells, and the discomfort of dental procedures will be very upsetting for your autistic child. These factors can become more problematic when your child visits an orthodontist. The larger jaws of some children with autism can increase their risk of needing orthodontic treatments, such as braces and retainers.
If your autistic child must get braces, they will likely struggle with the sensation of hardware in their mouths. Children on the spectrum notice all the sensations, patterns, and textures in their personal space. Helping your child accept the presence of their braces can be added to the list of issues for the team involved with your in-home parent training for autism.
5. When You Need Them to Develop Healthy Habits
Parents frequently struggle to persuade their children to eat healthy foods. Few children enjoy vegetables, and some children develop a very selective appetite. Children on the spectrum can show even more eccentricities when choosing their foods. Parents with autistic children can request help with these issues from the team providing in-home parent training for autism.
Dietary experts have discovered there’s a link between autism and nutrition. Their studies recommend an increase in Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Vitamin B6 can be found in dark leafy vegetables and chickpeas, while magnesium can be found in nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Finding creative ways to encourage children to eat these foods can help decrease their autistic symptoms.
Autistic children often develop mental health problems. Older children dealing with differences in their behavior or with relationship difficulties may seek ways to divert themselves from the effect of these problems. According to a recent study at Cambridge University, many autistic individuals turn to a stimulus such as gambling, which can then get out of hand. Parents who recognize these problems in their child may decide to send their child to a gambling treatment center.
6. When You Need a Medicaid Lawyer
Because of their additional needs for education and mental health support, children on the spectrum often qualify for benefits from local, state, or federal agencies. These organizations can provide help from social agencies. The team helping with your in-home parent training for autism can tell you if your children qualify for these benefits. Your state will decide what services Medicaid will cover and will determine which applicants are eligible.
Benefits for autism include mental health counseling, including visits to a psychiatrist. Medicaid will also cover medication costs and costs for occupational or physical exercise. If you believe your child is eligible for Medicaid, but they’ve been denied benefits, you can contact a Medicaid attorney for assistance in reapplication for benefits.
A Medicaid attorney will review your child’s benefits request. They will determine if your child is qualified to receive benefits. If it is necessary for you to “spend down” your assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits, the attorney can advise you how to do so. If your child qualifies for Medicaid, the attorney will help you to fight for your child’s legal benefits.
7. When Your Child Needs Regular Exercise
All parents want their children to be healthy. School-age children will usually get exercise in a Physical Education class. However, children can also benefit from exercise at home. Playing sports or active games can help. Your in-home parent training for autism can include scheduled active family games for you and your children.
Many autistic children have a special appreciation for aquatic therapy. Studies have shown that aquatic therapy can be beneficial for autistic children. Because children on the spectrum are attuned to sensations and being in the water is pleasurable, the children enjoy the therapy. Parents who want to use this therapy will often choose to buy an inground spa.
Autistic children are often affected by poor physical coordination. This lack of coordination may challenge their safety, and it may also cause them to feel awkward in gym class. You can make a physical therapist appointment to see if they can help your child to gain better muscle coordination. A physical therapist can help your child gain the renewed flexibility they need and will provide some enjoyable exercise.
8. When Your Child Needs Help with Daily Care
Children profoundly affected by their autism may be unable to perform personal care activities. Higher-functioning autistic children may be proficient with self-care and may need to develop adaptive learning strategies or how to play and enjoy life. An occupational therapist can teach your child all those functions.
Studies have shown there are benefits in occupational therapy for kids with autism. The team helping your family with in-home parent training for autism can help determine if occupational therapy services are right for your child. An occupational therapist can provide hygiene demonstrations, prescribe therapeutic exercises, and fashion braces or other assistive devices if your child needs these.
9. When Your Child Needs a New Approach
As a parent, you’ll work with your autistic child. You’ll do your best to help them stay healthy and gain knowledge for their futures. Working with your team to continue your in-home parent training for autism will become part of the family’s routine. However, there are new ideas becoming available, and you may see ideas online for new approaches helping children with autism.
As part of their symptoms, children on the spectrum can become anxious. Their tendency to use repetitive speech or actions can increase and further intensify their anxiety. Some families have found success by using anxiety hypnosis therapists. With the use of hypnosis, autistic individuals can learn ways to calm themselves and to shift their thoughts to a more serene way of thinking.
Research has revealed that an intravenous solution of oxytocin and secretin can help children on the autism spectrum. Secretin is a hormone that usually influences the digestive system. Oxytocin is a peptide (a type of protein) that affects the functions of the brain and the digestive system. When given together, this infusion is called peptide therapy, and it’s been shown to improve the mental health of autistic individuals.
10. When You Need to Work with the Training Team
Since autism affects many aspects of your child’s life, you will be assigned a team of therapists. The training team will come to your home, ask questions about the person with autism, and watch the family interacts. Once their assessment is complete, the team will compose a list of therapy goals. The team will then review the list of goals with the family.
You must work with the team to handle the challenges of living with an autistic family member. The training team’s plan will address all the family’s specific needs. They will address all the child’s academic, social, or behavioral issues.
11. When You Need Your Family to Get Along
When parents of autistic children work with a team providing in-home parent training for autism may find challenges if helping their autistic child overshadows their relationship with their other children. One common area of conflict within the family can be with discipline. Sisters and brothers of autistic children often feel that the autistic individual gets preferential treatment. Children on the spectrum often have less control over their tempers, and their parents may therefore be more lenient on those children.
Because the parents must spend more time dealing with the problems of the autistic child, family counseling experts suggest scheduling separate time with each of their children. Allow all your children to voice their frustrations, and then do your best to explain the special circumstances experienced by the autistic child. If your community has an autism support group, find out whether the family members can attend. These support groups are likely to have other children of their age group, and they can commiserate about their challenges.
All parents face challenges while raising their children. Parents whose child is on the spectrum have a unique set of challenges. By working with a team of professionals who provide in-home parent training for autism, you and your family will be joined in a mission to support your child. Together, you can work to help your autistic child find their best path to a bright future.