Tips For Parents Of High Functioning Autistic Children

High functioning autism is a medical condition which involves delays and difficulties in social communication and interaction, and repetitive patterns of behavior or interests. High functioning autism can significantly impact a child’s life, as well as the lives of those around them, including their parents, siblings, teachers, and friends.

As a parent of a child with high functioning autism, you may feel overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated at times. However, with a better understanding of your child’s condition, you can develop effective strategies for managing their behaviors and helping them reach their full potential. Here are some tips to help you through the journey:

1. Educate Yourself About Autism

The more you know about high functioning autism, the better equipped you are to support your child. Attend workshops, read books, and talk to professionals who specialize in the field. Learn about the different behaviors and symptoms of autism, as well as the various interventions and therapies available.

2. Focus On Strengths

While it is important to work on areas of weakness, it is equally important to focus on your child’s strengths. Children with high functioning autism often have exceptional talents, skills, and abilities that deserve recognition and encouragement. Encourage your child to explore their interests, pursue their passions, and celebrate their accomplishments.

3. Establish Routines

Establishing routines can provide structure and predictability for your child, which can help reduce anxiety and stress. Create a daily routine that includes regular meal times, sleep times, and activity times. Communicate the routine with your child, and try to keep the routine as consistent as possible.

4. Set Clear Expectations

Children with high functioning autism may struggle with understanding social cues and expectations. Therefore, it is important to set clear and consistent expectations for your child. Start by establishing basic rules and consequences, and make sure your child understands them. Be consistent with your expectations, and provide positive reinforcement when your child meets or exceeds them.

5. Create Safe Spaces

Children with high functioning autism may become overwhelmed in certain environments, such as crowded or noisy places. Create safe spaces for your child where they can retreat and feel comfortable. This could be a quiet room in your home, a special sensory bin, or a designated space in the backyard. Encourage your child to use their safe space whenever they feel overwhelmed or anxious.

6. Build Social Skills

One of the core symptoms of high functioning autism is difficulties in social interaction. Therefore, it is important to work on building your child’s social skills. Teach your child basic social skills, such as eye contact, greeting others, and taking turns. Practice social situations with your child, such as playing games with other children or going to a playdate. Encourage your child to take part in extracurricular activities, such as sports teams or art classes, that involve social interaction with peers.

7. Be Kind To Yourself

Parenting a child with high functioning autism can be challenging, and it is important to remember to take care of yourself as well. Take breaks when needed, prioritize your own self-care, and seek support from friends, family, or a professional counselor. Remember that you are doing the best you can, and that seeking help is not a sign of weakness.

In conclusion, while raising a child with high functioning autism can be challenging, there are many effective strategies that can help. Educating yourself about autism, focusing on your child’s strengths, establishing routines, setting clear expectations, creating safe spaces, building social skills, and being kind to yourself can all make a significant difference in your child’s life. With love, patience, and support, you can help your child thrive and reach their full potential.

FAQs

FAQs about Tips For Parents Of High Functioning Autistic Children

What is a high functioning autistic child?

A high functioning autistic child is one who has relatively good communication skills and cognitive abilities, but still exhibits many of the characteristics associated with autism spectrum disorder, such as difficulty with social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and sensory processing issues.

What tips are provided for parents of high functioning autistic children in the article?

The article provides tips for parents on how to support their child’s social and emotional development, manage their sensory needs, navigate the education system, and advocate for their needs. Some specific tips include building social skills through playdates and activities, creating a sensory-friendly home environment, and forming a strong partnership with their child’s school.

Can these tips be adapted for parents of autistic children who are not high functioning?

Yes, many of these tips can be adapted for parents of autistic children who are not high functioning. However, it’s important to keep in mind that children with varying levels of autism spectrum disorder may require different levels of support and intervention. Parents should consult with their child’s healthcare provider and educational team to develop individualized strategies that are appropriate for their child’s specific needs.


References

1. Hume, K. A., Loftin, R., & Lantz, J. F. (2009). Increasing independence in autism spectrum disorders: A review of three focused interventions. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(9), 1329-1338. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-009-0749-0

2. Osborne, L. A., & Reed, P. (2009). The relationship between parenting stress and behavior problems of children with autistic spectrum disorders. Exceptional Children, 76(1), 54-73. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/001440290907600104

3. Schweitzer, J. B. (2016). The view from within: Strategies for parenting high functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 214. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00214