Tips to Improve Behavior at Home in Children with Autism
by Ashley Lengyel
On 08 December, 2021
As a parent or caregiver of a child with ASD, it is very important to have a cache of helpful suggestions / tips to make the life of your child and you easier. From the safety of structured routines in school / daycare or therapy centers, it can be nerve racking to manage the child at home. We have therefore compiled some handy tips to enable you to improve your child’s behavior at home, and have a happy home for all. Listed below are Tips to Improve Behavior at Home in Children with Autism:
Time and schedules aid in minimizing stress caused by change. Children on the spectrum thrive best when living in a structured environment. Use time and scheduling to segment the day and activities that they can comprehend, use and expect. Give the child alerts / verbal warnings before the change between two tasks / activities. Timers or reminders on cell phones can do the job as well. Make a physical calendar that your child can refer to or use. The use of pictures can be useful aid in making such a calendar and its activities. Use First/Then statements to enable the child to comprehend the sequence of events that take place during the day or even for a limited duration. A little bit of planning ahead and sticking to it daily is best to make the life of all simpler. Unforeseen events and circumstances can derail the most well crafted plans but that’s always expected in life. Parents should just equip themselves to the best of their abilities and means.
Curate a ‘ safe zone / area ‘ for your child in the home. Create a refuge within the home where the child can play, retreat, relax or recover. It can be a quiet area / room that caters to the child’s needs. It contains their favorite furniture, toys, and sensory objects to soothe / calm that is safe to use. The safe zone creates a sense of security in the child where they have a sense of calmness / belonging. The child can retreat / directed to the safe zone to process any feelings before they take a sharp turn.
Be positive, cheerful, and calm as much as possible. You can get your child to be more cooperative if you use positive language. Phrase your words carefully with a positive note rather than “don’t”,” no”, “don’t do this” and so on. Plus, try to remain cool & calm under tough situations so that you remain in control and obtain the desired results over time. You may need to step back and hold your peace for a bit. You can practice deep breathing techniques, mindfulness, yoga, or relaxation techniques to be a calmer and composed person, ready to deal with unwanted situations at home or outside.
Build on the learning & principles of behavior therapy. If your child has / is receiving behavior therapy, then take advantage and build on it. Capitalize on what has been taught to the child and you by the therapist, and apply them on a daily basis. The carrying forward of the therapy provides consistency that can only have a positive impact, especially on their behavior.