Tips to build a strong bond with your autistic child
Autistic children are different from others who experience a normal development pattern. The interaction they have with their parents may be limited as they may not ask questions, initiate play, enjoy sports, or want to try new things. Kids with autism may experience anxiety and may not be able to demonstrate it like a typical child. They often find it difficult to show reciprocal emotions such as giving you a hug. In such cases, parents wonder what to do in order to build a strong bond with their children. Here are some tips that can help:
- Don’t assume their feelings
Since autistic children don’t show too many emotions. They sometimes talk in a flat tone, even when they’re excited. This makes it is difficult for parents to understand their feelings. Their body language, such as eye contact, gestures or facial expressions, may not be an indicator of what they’re going through. An autistic child may have difficulty staying focused, and yet be having a lot of fun. Parents must not assume about the child’s feelings and be open to noticing their unique personality.
- Take the first step
Children with autism don’t have the skills to communicate their desires, even if it involves something as simple as playing a game with their parents. This leaves the onus on parents to initiate play, rather than waiting to hear it from the child. Parents with autistic children must consciously try to get them involved in play and take the first steps for any activity.
- Create a structure and routine
Like other children, autistic kids are also affected by parenting styles. Providing them with a structure and routine can help them recognize your cues and prepare for their day. Spontaneous events or situations can cause a lot of confusion in the minds of ASD children. Therefore, it is important to inform them in advance about anything new that is likely to happen.
- Focus on your child’s strengths
In order to reach out and connect with an autistic child, parents must try and figure out his/her strength. They can take the child’s high-interest subjects to teach skills they need to learn. Children with autism are less flexible in their interests and it is often difficult to engage them in newer things. Focusing on their interests and playing to their strengths can help you find more ways to play and connect with them.
- Think beyond chores and homework
It shouldn’t be all about work alone. Once a while, parents must sit down together and take time to join in the autistic child’s activities. This way, they can notice small signals and be able to see the world from the child’s perspective. Remember that children with autism can get lonely too and they need parents’ help to connect with others. Above all, remember that autistic children’s attachment needs are as strong as other children. It is just a little harder for them to communicate the same. Stay strong and have faith in your efforts as a parent as you build a bond of mutual trust and create a safe environment for your autistic child. With a little patience, they’ll soon come around.