“ Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.” – Quote by James Dobson, An American author, and psychologist.
Love keeps the world sunny, bright, content, and hopeful. It is the most valuable emotion between two people, and unique to every relationship. Expressing love and its aligned emotions takes unique forms as each person can / chooses to express it in their own way. There are some who are very demonstrative / vocal in expressing their love, while others are not. The same is the case with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As parents / relatives / family friends / neighbors or any other stakeholder in the life of a child with ASD, finding ways of demonstrating love to a child is important and can get your creative juices flowing. In this blog, are listing some ways of expressing love to a child.
Four ways to demonstrate love to your child are:
1. Visual affirmation. As with most children on the spectrum, the best medium of learning / instructions is visual. Children respond better to images, videos, and written words over verbal declarations of love / affection. A photo album with images of special moments spent with your child and some written words expressing affection & about the experience / moment or memory is a good way to go.
2. Touch. As each child is special and unique in their own right, not every child is receptive to physical touch. Those who are receptive to physical touch, express love via hugs, tickles, cuddles, and kisses.
3. Spend quality time together. Taking time out from busy and stressful lives for the child is paramount to ensuring that the child feels nourished & nurtured. Time has to be set aside for devoting full attention to the child and other members of the family to reinforce ties, love, and the importance of each person in the mix. Instead of spending the time on instructions / teaching, just make it a “ fun family time “ where everyone can come together and do activities that the child enjoys & can participate in. Every child needs quality time of praise, attention, and freedom to be themselves in a safe & loving space.
4. Sensory and comforting gifts. Gifts that are aligned with their interests are a beautiful way to express love. It could take the form of splashing in a community pool, watching a sensory friendly movie, baking a cake together, spending time in a petting zoo, or visiting museums of their choice. All gifts don’t have to be tangible items. They can be intangible and yet special.
Each act of love & affection is rewarded and comes back to us manifold and in unique ways. Loving a child on the spectrum is the best gift for everyone, for the universe. Find your own special ways to express emotions and be rewarded by their happy aura that will light up your life.