According to recent reports, as many as one in sixty-eight children in the United States and one in forty-five children in New Jersey has autism these days. While this number may be startlingly high, the good news is that if you are one of the many Monmouth County residents whose child has autism, you are not alone and there is no need to try to cope on your own. Many doctors, researchers and parents have already found proven strategies that work, and you can benefit from them. Here are four ways you can help your child with autism, courtesy of Dr. Alison Smoller, D.O. of Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey.
1. Create Consistent Routines
For many children with autism, having a consistent routine allows them to feel safe and secure. They know just what to expect, and their brains don't have to struggle as hard to process extra information. Help your child feel more comfortable by creating a consistent daily schedule full of simple routines.
2. Limit Overwhelming Sights and Sounds
On a similar note, children with autism often become overwhelmed when placed in chaotic environments full of too many new sights and sounds. Even an environment that seems calm and manageable to you may be too much for your child to take in at once if it is all new. Help your child adjust by giving him or her a way to escape the situation, and by preparing your child in advance as much as possible.
3. Try New Things Slowly
Eventually, however, you will want your child to be able to try new things and go new places. The key to doing this successfully is to introduce new things slowly. Instead of forcing your child to eat a new meal he or she has never had before, try varying a favorite dish by adding one additional ingredient or by preparing it a slightly different way. By taking a baby steps approach, you will likely experience much greater success over the long haul.
4. Figure Out What Works for Your Child
Of course, what works best for another child with autism may not be what works best for your child. As the parent, you know what is best for your family. Take the advice of others and learn from their experiences, but ultimately you will need to figure out what works best for you.
Helping a child with autism can seem like an overwhelming task. Thankfully, there is help and hope. Call Dr. Smoller at Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey in Monmouth County to discuss additional ways you can best help your child with autism today.
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