Any parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) knows what a challenge it can be to manage the condition at home, ON TOP of managing everything else at home. Being a parent is such a wonderful gift, but it is also a full-time job and can be exhausting at times. Adding on managing an ASD diagnosis could very easily prove to be exhausting for many parents. Thankfully, The Oxford Center can share some tips and tricks to help you manage while providing the best environment possible for your children and yourself.
Tips and Tricks to Help you Manage ASD at Home
- Establish a routine: Having a structured routine can provide comfort and stability for individuals with autism. Keep a consistent schedule for daily activities, such as mealtimes and bedtime.
- Create a sensory-friendly environment: Autistic individuals may have sensitivities to light, sound, and touch. Try to minimize sensory triggers by using soft lighting, avoiding loud noises, and incorporating soft textures in the home.
- Use visual aids: Visual aids, such as schedules and diagrams, can help individuals with autism understand and follow routines. Use pictures, symbols, and charts to help with communication and organization.
- Encourage independence: Autistic individuals often benefit from learning and practicing new skills. Encourage independence by allowing them to participate in daily activities, such as cooking and cleaning.
- Provide a quiet space: It is important for individuals with autism to have a quiet space to retreat to when they become overwhelmed. A designated quiet room or corner can provide a calming environment.
- Practice social skills: Autistic individuals may have difficulties with social interaction. Encourage and practice social skills at home by playing games and engaging in conversation.
- Implement calming strategies: Autistic individuals may become overwhelmed and need to calm down. Implement calming strategies, such as deep breathing exercises, to help manage emotions.
- Seek professional help: If necessary, seek the help of professionals, such as therapists or behavior specialists, to support individuals with autism and provide resources for managing autism at home.
Managing autism spectrum disorder at home can be a challenge, but with patience, understanding, and the right strategies, individuals with autism can lead happy and fulfilling lives.
How to Practice Self-Care While Managing ASD at Home
As parents, we love our children and always want the best for them. Sometimes, we get so focused on taking care of our children and families that we forget about taking care of ourselves too. We all know that self-care is the first step in being able to care for someone else, so let’s look at some ways to help take care of yourself first!
- Prioritize self-care: Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with friends.
- Seek support: Connect with other parents in similar situations through support groups or online communities and consider seeing a therapist or counselor for individual support.
- Practice mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or yoga, into your daily routine to reduce stress and increase self-awareness.
- Take breaks: Make time for short breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just a few minutes of quiet time.
- Set realistic expectations: Be realistic about what you can accomplish and delegate responsibilities to other family members or caregivers when possible.
- Use respite services: Consider using respite services to provide temporary relief and allow for some personal time.
- Take vacations: Plan and take regular vacations to recharge and refresh.
Remember, taking care of yourself is crucial for being able to provide the best care for your child with autism. Prioritizing self-care can help improve your physical and emotional well-being and increase your ability to manage autism at home.
How Can The Oxford Center Help?
The Oxford Center is dedicated to providing the best possible services for each of our children and helping parents be as successful as possible. In our Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program, we place a focus on not only working with your child to ensure success, but we focus on working with you too. We know that consistency is important for a child with ASD, so we want to make sure we spend time working with parents to go over what their child is learning during ABA therapy and how parents can best support that learning at home.
Jessica Dodson, our ABA Program Director, says “At The Oxford Center, we help create routines within a successful environment to not only help the child grow, but the whole family. I have so many parents that focus on comparing how their child is doing against how another child is doing, so I always remind my parents and caregivers that everyone has their own separate path and journey. Most importantly, remember that we will all make it through our paths with a little teamwork and perseverance.”
Contact us today to find out how we can help you and your child be successful at 248-486-3636.