Parenting is the most demanding role we can have as human beings because of the torrential number of emotions, mental doubt, and the physical stamina we need to do our job well and raise mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy children. This goes for parents of all children. When the parenting role is challenged further with an issue such as autism, the part becomes even more difficult.
Since the spectrum of autism is broad and autistic children differ vastly from each other, it’s harder for a medical professional to supplement a diagnosis in a short period. As a result, parents of autistic children often visit one doctor, then another, to find the one who can diagnose their child and prescribe the proper treatment for them.
Although the journey to diagnosis can be long and disheartening, it doesn’t mean you are helpless. As a parent, you are the expert on your child. While you wait for a professional diagnosis, you can find ways of supporting your child to help your family experience the level of serenity you all need. The following are the top ways you can support your child.
CBD is the non-intoxicating psychoactive derived from the Cannabis plant. With less than 0.3 percent THC in it, CBD cannot make you high, nor is there a risk of overdose. Although studies on this cannabinoid are limited, early studies have shown encouraging evidence regarding its physical and mental health benefits. Indeed, users opt for CBD to ease anxiety and depression symptoms, manage pain, improve their skin, and the list goes on.
In a significant step, the FDA has also allowed the production of the first-ever CBD-based drug administered to children as young as two years of age who suffer from a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet’s syndrome. For children with autism, CBD might ease aggressive behavior.
CBD products come in many forms for you to choose the right product for your child. You can find weed edibles, oil tinctures to give your child sublingually, drinks, capsules, and even soap.
Become an expert on your child
As a parent, you are the one who knows the ins and outs of your child, and you must use this knowledge to your advantage. Figure out exactly what your child likes and dislikes so you can be prepared for eventualities and use your child’s likes for rewards and to calm them down. If your kid dreads loud noises, you may have to leave earlier than expected. You could also mentally prepare for tantrums when heading to a party or a school environment. You can equip your kid in advance and offer alternatives to help, such as by providing noise-canceling headphones.
Reward good behavior
Speaking of rewards, consider rewarding good behavior and letting your child know when their behavior is unacceptable. Remember to keep your expectations low and your patience high. Consider setting standards of what good and bad behavior looks like and stick to your principles even when your child or the situation is significantly out of control.
Consistency is key
Rather than restricting them, a consistent schedule makes children feel safe. This goes for children with autism as well. When you are consistent, your child knows what to expect in the day, and this helps to decrease the constant struggles. Keep regular in a few key things such as mealtimes, sleeping time, quiet time, and television time. A good way of adhering to scheduled times is by using different alarm tones on your phone, so your child can learn to associate the song to the scheduled activity.
In between these scheduled times, allow for as much flexibility as possible. Your child may want to go for a walk, play, listen to music, or do another favored activity. Play is crucial for all children, so try to accommodate your child’s wishes during this free time.
Make your home a haven for your child
If you know that loud sounds or bright colors frustrate your child, then eliminate them from your house. Once you’re the expert on your child, reflect this knowledge in your behavior and environment by making your home a haven for them.
Let your child participate
It’s tempting to keep your child away from everyday activities such as running errands because it’s easier when they’re not there. However, if you hope to raise an adult with autism who can function independently in the world, you must start them young. Whenever possible, take your child with you to run errands such as groceries. You can prepare your child by showing pictures or a video of the environment you are going into.
Find respite care
Rather than trying to be a super parent, consider being a well-rested parent who can still love her children and take a break. Children with autism are incredibly challenging, so there’s no need to feel guilty about wanting a break from them by getting respite care.
Once you get an official diagnosis, then you can support your child in other ways, including visiting a therapist to find the right therapy and possibly a dietician who can help you choose the right foods for your child. Until then, being grateful for the little things is essential to thriving, rather than merely surviving in this situation. Although it’s easier said than done, easing your anxiety is especially important to avoid your child picking up on your anxiousness and throwing a tantrum in public.