Autism does not have any known cure that works at healing the effected completely. As such, it is a life long illness that not only the effected have to suffer but it is a trying situation even for the family members of the effected. There are as many as one in every 88 children who suffer from autism. It is a very tough time for the parents as they struggle at every step to understand their child and all throughout deriving different methods for communicating. There are special schools that admit children effected with autism and experienced teachers who understand them well, do the teaching and help others understand them. Here are a few points from expert autism teachers that explain what exactly an autistic child would like:
- Respect and Value them: Most important of all, learn to respect and value them. Just because it seems they look a little retarded, it does not mean they are! Autistic children are often very bright and intelligent. It is only their lack of communication that hinders their ability to express their thoughts and ideas. Let them know you think they are smart. Acknowledge their attempts to communicate in a gentle way. Occasionally use words like, “smart!”, “intelligent” etc. to tell them you know what they are. You will notice that you get a thankful glance or a smile. Ask them about their likes and dislikes and acknowledge that. It can be as simple as asking what colour pen they would like and giving them a pen in the colour they asked for. This gives them a feeling of being valued and this can go a long way in deepening your relationship with them.
- Develop a relationship: You can develop a relationship with the autistic child by patiently waiting for a reaction. They are normal children who love having friends and are deeply desperate for a relationship such as that. Hang around in their space for as long as possible. Sometimes you will need to wait for a reply for up to 30 seconds or more than a minute. But these reciprocations go a long way for the child in knowing that they have a friend and you will see an improvement in their reciprocations once they are used to you.
- Make them as independent as possible: These children are well aware of their setbacks and very well know how their healthier peers are pushed towards independence. They would also like to be treated like they have hopes for a brighter future. Make sure you raise the bar of expectation and you will be surprised that it will open a doorway of amazing possibilities for the child.
These are the top 3 feelings that most autistic children feel. Hoping they help you connect better with your child, give us a feed back of your experiences with them