According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 1 in 54 kids in the United States has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder.
If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re the parent of one of those children, and you’re wondering what to do next. We’ll give you some details below, but first: Take a deep breath. Sure, a diagnosis of autism will change many things about your life, but it doesn’t change who your child is and how proud you are of them.
Here at Texas Mind Science, with offices in Richardson and Flower Mound, Texas, we treat many kids and adults with autism. Here are a few things you should know about your life with a child with autism. Remember, it’s no one’s fault that your child has autism. There is more than one type of autism, and there is no single cause for the disorder. You had no control over your child getting autism, but you can control what you do next.
What Is Autism?
The CDC defines autism spectrum disorder as a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. You and your doctor will have to determine where along the spectrum of the disorder your child falls.
Level 1 kids are higher functioning and require less support, while Level 3 kids are more impaired and require much more support.
Once you know your child has autism, you can make some simple changes immediately to help. Children with autism do better with structured environments, so you can develop routines and schedules to help them. They can then follow these routines every day.
A couple of small suggestions: Use visuals for schedules and rules, give your child a five-minute warning before they have to end an activity and build a rewards/consequences system to help handle their behavior.
Be Aware of Sensory Issues
Kids with autism often struggle with sensory problems, which just means they process information differently than typical kids. They may want to avoid strong stimuli like bright lights or noises, or they may seek out strong stimuli like big hugs or flashing lights. Determine what your child likes and doesn’t like in this area and then adjust their home environment to better suit them.
Seek Services That Can Help
Autism can be treated with many types of behavioral, relational, and sensory integration therapies. You should work with your doctor to determine which services will best benefit your child.
Some helpful therapies include speech, occupational, behavioral, physical, developmental, and psychiatric services, and medication management. At Texas Mind Science, we also offer transcranial magnetic imaging as a new therapy to stimulate the brain, improve nerve connectivity, and help balance neurotransmitters.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how the expert team at Texas Mind Science can help treat autism in your children, call us or use our convenient online scheduler to book your own appointment.