As a parent to a child on the autism spectrum, you know the value of patience and love. Those unparalleled gifts can help your child thrive throughout life, but it can also help to have some tools that allow you both to cope with the unique challenges you face. To that end, here are some tips for soothing and comforting your child in a variety of situations.
Research Supplements That May Help Calm Anxieties
Many people fail to recognize the emotional aspects that impact children on the autism spectrum. But as a parent, you may already have familiarity with these emotional challenges. More specifically, individuals who place on the spectrum tend to experience more intense and regular feelings of anxiety. Anxious feelings can come from the stress of sensory overload or it can just be part of your child’s daily experience. Either way, it’s important to find ways to soothe those anxious feelings. Cognitive therapy should always be used to help your child cope with daily stress and struggles, but certain supplements may be useful as well. CBD oil, for instance, has shown promise in children with autism and may even improve your child’s focus. Just be sure to research different CBD oils and ask your doctor before using them for your child.
Provide an Environment That Help Reset Sensitive Senses
So much of the anxiety and stress mentioned above come from your child’s unique sensory processing style. Try to think of something that really stresses you out and imagine experiencing that level of stress throughout the day. Children on the spectrum can experience the world around them just like this, and sometimes it’s just all too much. They need somewhere to escape that sensory overload, and a sensory-friendly bedroom can be that safe haven. Begin by using soothing, soft tones in the paint and decor, but also provide some tools that will help recharge your child’s senses. Many parents find weighted bedding to be especially helpful in calming anxiety and providing a better sleep environment for their children.
Pick Up Tools to Soothe Overloaded Senses in Social Situations
Sensory tools, such as weighted blankets and warm lamps, offer a perfect respite from the world for your child. However, you also need ways to help your child cope with the sensations and sounds they do experience when out in the world and interacting with other people. Feeling emotionally overwhelmed in public spaces, where there are layers of feelings, sights, and noises to take in, is very common for people who are on the autism spectrum. So, if you know you will be taking your child into an environment where they may feel overloaded, consider bringing some calming tools along with you. Noise reducing headphones can be especially beneficial in these situations, so find a pair or two that will work for your child.
Practice Social Skills in a Safe, Comfortable Environment First
Giving children tools to protect them from sensory overload will allow more positive touches with the world around them. It’s also crucial, however, for children with sensitive senses to learn how to interact more fully with others. This is where children on the spectrum can differ from their peers, in that social cues and norms need to be more fully explained in order to really take hold. When you are at home and your child feels secure, try writing out social situations and going through the nuances together. You can then take those lessons out into the world, but always be prepared to offer more detailed explanations. Non-verbal children may benefit from less direct exercises, such as story time or sharing activities, where you can impart those essential social lessons without overwhelming them.
Being a parent to a child who is on the autism spectrum can be a tough job, but it can also be a rewarding experience like no other. Children on the spectrum see the world in such a beautiful and unique way, and sometimes they just need a little help processing those experiences. With your encouragement and a few essential tools and tricks, your child can grow from these experiences and learn to cope with those unique needs now and into adulthood.
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