New situations are difficult for all children, let alone those who are on the Autistic spectrum.
I have come up with some tips that I hope will benefit parents out there and help their children cope in new situations.
I am a parent with a son who has a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome and I decided to give up my job as a teaching assistant and write stories for young children, as a way of helping them learn and process new situations that are found in most families.
Visit www.suziebooks.co.uk for the available titles.
8 top tips on helping your child cope in new situations:
Find a relevant book
A book can be a helpful resource when presenting an Aspergers child in a new situation, it can help by explaining how the new situation will be and what to expect.
Change is a major thing for a child on the Autistic spectrum. Talk, explain, listen to your child. Make them aware of just what is going to happen and why? For example, if there is a change in the school day, speak to the teacher about what is involved and make sure that there is communication between you all.
Keep it simple
Keep everything simple, too much information in one go can cause an overload in a child with Aspergers which will make the whole situation harder, leading to upset and confusion.
Consider the sensory issues
Think about what the new situation is about. Loud noises, different smells, lighting or lack of lighting can cause a child on the spectrum a great deal of stress. With our son, it was the wind and hand dryers in the shopping mall. I used to carry a woolly hat around and it helped by blocking out some of the sounds.
Research the situation – perhaps with the internet
The internet is a way of life to many these days, do some research about a new situation your child is going to be in. Fun apps and programmes are very popular and can be a great tool to help ease any worries.
My son is a whizz when it comes to technology and for him to find a new game that might help him from becoming too anxious, or one that he can play with, can block out any worries and is a great aid.
Employ a visual storyboard
A child with Aspergers needs to be aware of just what might happen in a new situation i.e going on Holiday, Pictures put into order of what will take place from start to finish is a good guide.
Honesty is the best policy
Be true to yourself and your child, accept that they have this condition and make others aware.
Remember, a child with Aspergers will take things quite literally. As a parent, think about how you word things and how you are going to get the whole process across to your child.
Employ encouragement and praise
As stated above, a new situation can cause distress to a child with Aspergers, keep encouraging the child with positive words and praise highly in all areas.