5 efficient strategies tried and proven to benefit your Autistic child during the lockdown

Bravo, mom! You have already done a remarkable job by juggling between kids, cooking, laundry, and your remote work schedule for almost 5 weeks now. That’s an immense achievement, and you deserve a pat on your back!

Although you have survived adequately so far, yet you are facing meltdowns, issues with focus, direction following, etc.?

I want to share 5 strategies I am using with my son nowadays that have benefited him to stay calm, follow directions, and be compliant. Indeed, not every day, I am successful in saying so; however, I certainly see a difference when I follow these tactics repeatedly.

Here are 5 efficient strategies tried and proven to benefit your Autistic child during the lockdown.

1. Make a Routine

Having a structured routine is an essential strategy that we cannot compromise for the kids on the spectrum.

Children on spectrum thrive with positive outcomes if they are equipped with a schedule to follow throughout a day. By implementing this predictability, you are decreasing your child’s anxiety between transitions from one activity to another.

Also Read: The 1 most valuable practice your Autism child needs right now to cope in the current pandemic situation

You need not overdo it, just like your to-do list of the day will do the job; however, stay consistent with it. Given below is a sample of my son’s schedule for a day. I have been using the schedule list for the past 4 yrs, and I have seen amazing benefits because of a simple routine. For kids with communication challenges, a visual schedule will play a similar role.

My son can’t read fluently yet, but he is happy with the visual guidance he gets for his next activity, and that facilitates him to respond positively to the transition. Until 8 months back, I did a visual schedule for him and gradually faded to a written one.

2. Include Sensory Diet

Making your child feel comfortable and secured is vital during this period. In this unprecedented time, your child may be confused as well as frustrated to spend his entire time at home. If your child has sensory processing impairments, a new lifestyle will also upset him/her.

Develop a sensory diet for your child, which consists of activities that are individually picked for your child based on his/her sensory needs.

Let me give you an example of my son’s sensory diet. He seeks Vestibular as well as Propreoseption sensory input. In a nutshell, these two senses affect body awareness and balance.

With the help of his OT, I have developed a few sensory activities for him to follow throughout his day.

The aim here is to give my son the sensory input that he requires to feel in control of his body. When he gets this information, it helps him to be more stable and focused.

I got him a bouncy ball, and he loves to bounce on it, exerts all his energy by bouncing that calms him down for some time. I make him do this before his school activity or Telehealth sessions. I also give him pressure massages as needed.

Also Read: 2 effective tactics to follow in this Lockdown period for your Autistic child to progress.

My son also likes his sensory bin, which additionally assists in releasing his frustration.

Over time, you might have become aware of what are your child’s sensory issues, so develop a sensory diet and assist him/her throughout the day.

For more information and activities ideas visit toolstogrowot.com.

3. Motivate Physical Activities

For kids with autism, studies show that vigorous activity for more than 20 minutes can help decrease stereotypical behaviors, hyperactivity, and aggression. Exercise not only helps children with autism better engage in the environment, but it also helps promote weight loss and leads to better overall health.

healthline.com

A decrease in physical activity is undoubtedly a significant negative in this lockdown period. If you have a backyard, then get creative and let your kid run around, if not make your child get some physical activity indoors. GoNoodle on YouTube is my son’s favorite since his school teacher also made it as part of their classroom routine. Try it your child will enjoy!

4. Encourage your child to do chores

Kids on the spectrum can benefit a lot by doing household chores; it can help them stay focused and build their confidence. Praising your child as they do the task gives him/her a sense of pride and accomplishment at being able to contribute.

5. Prioritize calming skills

As you include other activities in your child’s schedule, make sure you prioritize calming skills too. Keep aside 2-3 times in the entire day separately for your child to sit and calm down. If the child can sit for a minute to start with, it will provide a considerable impact.

A few ideas to start –

  • Sitting on a chair/beanbag reading/looking at the pictures and listening to music.
  • Looking at the sand timer.
  • Teach your child to be mindful by playing “I Spy.”
  • Blow bubbles with your child.
  • Spending time with your pet can be calming.

Also Read: Tips for parents to help your child with Autism thrive – 2


Take Away –

Here are 5 efficient strategies tried and proven to benefit your Autistic child during the lockdown.

  • Make a Routine
  • Include Sensory Diet
  • Motivate Physical Activities
  • Encourage to do chores
  • Prioritize calming strategies

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