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    Posted April 30, 2014 by

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    How to Help Autistic Children


    Autism spectrum disorder is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders that are characterized by communication difficulties, social impairments and repetitive, stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior. It is so called because it includes a group of disorders: autism, Asperger's syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder; however, autism is the most common form of autism spectrum disorder.

    There is no known cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Genes have been shown to play a role.  It has also been observed that the disorder occurs more frequently in people with certain medical conditions.  It is believed that 1 out 88 children aged 8 years will suffer from this disorder.

    Autism is a complex disorder.  Its major elements include sensory processing challenges, speech and language impairments and delays, self-esteem issues and impaired social interaction skills. Moreover, children suffering from autism do not demonstrate the same characteristics. That is because it is a spectrum disorder and no two autistic children will be alike.  They will all be at a different point on the spectrum and thus parents, teachers and caregivers have to be knowledgeable enough to manage them accordingly.

    Some of the more common demonstration of autistic behavior includes spinning, rocking, and repetitive hand-flapping, walking on toes, biting, temper tantrums and aggression. In addition, autistic children rarely play games but instead use toys and objects in unusual ways.  They can often become obsessed with one particular item.  People suffering from autism are also more sensitive to touch, taste or texture.

    A key characteristic of this disorder is its unpredictability and inconsistency.  It is a fact that children with autism may appear normal but their behavior can sometimes become difficult and perplexing.  However, that does not mean they cannot be helped or managed.  By understanding this disease and acquiring more knowledge about it, parents and caregivers can manage the challenging characteristics associated with autism. 

    Managing and helping children with autism is a challenging task.  It is imperative that individuals involved in the lives of children with autism are emotionally strong.  This will not only make your life easy but also the child or children you are helping. 

    According to Dr. Tali Shenfield, an expert in the areas of school psychology and child clinical psychology, hypersensitivity is usually paired with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder.  In order to help an overly sensitive child, it is important to put yourself in their shoes and try not to react aggressively to their hypersensitive behavior. If you do so, there is a chance that the child will shut down completely and retreat within himself or herself making it even more difficult for you to manage them.

    While there is no doubt that an autism spectrum disorder is a serious ailment and not something a child can grow out of but at the same time, it is important to remember that looking at it negatively will not help your child.  The disease may be incurable but that does not mean you cannot make a difference in managing and treating it. There are several treatment options that can help manage this disease and ensure that children with autism can still learn and overcome developmental challenges. You can utilize in-home behavioral therapy as well as enrol the child in school-based programs that are especially designed for such children. The primary thing you need to remember is that the best way to help a child with autism is to offer them continuous support and love. 

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