I believe that there are a few small steps that everybody can take that can make the life of an autistic child or adult better. These are some of the steps I have taken personally, and I wanted to share them with everyone. Even though these suggestions may not work for everybody, I still want to pass along this valuable bit of advice because I know, for someone out there, this information will make a positive difference.
Keep things familiar and stable
A peaceful, comfortable, familiar setting
It’s vital for the autistic individual to have a stable environment. Too much environmental harshness can cause stress and it is particularly harmful for not only the person that is affected by autism, but also for the person(s) that is/are responsible for their well-being. Many autism therapies, including behavioral analysis and educational therapy, focus on giving the autistic person a structured, comfortable environment. It helps autistic children prepare for adulthood and it helps autistic adults live productive, manageable lives.
Eat right. Feel right.
Staying healthy is important in general, but the need increases in magnitude with someone that has been diagnosed as autistic and/or having a condition on the ASD spectrum. It’s more than just physical health, it is also mental and physical health as well; and it connects back with keeping the autistic person in a stable, comfortable, and healthy environment. Make sure medications are taken, proper eating habits are developed, and most importantly, make sure that the autistic person is surrounded by a strong support system of loving and caring individuals that all desire to improve the autistic person’s livelihood.
Build on strengths.
There are many autistic individuals that are incredibly talented and it is critical that the autistic individual takes part in constructive activities that brings stability, balance, and direction into their lives. Activities should be low in stress and relatively easy for the person to not only grasp, but to enjoy as well.
The best suggestion I have? Build on their interests and their strengths. For example, if your autistic child grows to have a strong adulation for art, then encourage it! Buy the sketch books, the pencils, and the crayons and what not and let them enjoy making art!
Education and Awareness
Learning about autism and the ASD spectrum
Education and awareness about autistic and other ASD conditions are key for those that make up the support system of someone that has been diagnosed with autism. For many years, autism and the ASD spectrum was widely misunderstood until research in the 1980s and 1990s yielded a deeper understanding of the condition, and not being properly educated and made aware of what to look for and how to deal with someone with this condition can prove to be harmful. I stress that each and every one of you – those that know someone with autism or an ASD disorder and those that do not – take the time and learn more about these conditions. It’s with better knowledge and understanding of those with autism and ASD, that we will be able to do what we can to best help those that live with autism.