If you think your child might have ASD or you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, or acts, contact your child’s doctor and share your concerns.
If you or the doctor is still concerned, ask the doctor for a referral to a specialist who can do a more in-depth evaluation of your child.
Remember that children with special needs are no longer isolated in “Special Ed” classrooms. Today’s educational programs use the latest in student-to-student interactions that help children with special needs grow and develop to their full potential. Studies have shown that children with autism spectrum perform better, both academically and socially, if the child is included and connected as much as possible.
Recommended Read: Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview
New computer based programs designed to help hold the interest of students with autism are being promoted every year. Some of these recent programs and web sites feature images and exercises to assist educators in making lesson plans for students who have special needs. Some of these programs include apps for laptops, tablets, or smartphones that can be shared with other students, parents and other family members so that lessons can be reinforced beyond the classroom.
Teachers of students with autism often keep the desks in the classroom arranged to give students with autism their own space and to prevent the student from being easily distracted. At home, kids with autism spectrum disorder often benefit from having a place that is their own space also. This space is where the child can go to reduce stress and anxiety when needed.
Autistic children in the classroom or at home often benefit from structure and rules that are clearly explained and reviewed regularly. Rules at home work best when parents keep them simple. All children, and especially special needs children, need reminders and prompts frequently to help them understand what is expected. Visual aids at home on the refrigerator, and visual aids in the classroom such as charts, graphs, and pictures help clarify points and increase understanding.
Recommended Read: Management of Autism
Family members and relatives can be included in the autism interventions. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, and other students can be educated and made aware of ways to be helpful in the treatment plans for children living with autism spectrum disorder. These support persons should be educated to be aware of environmental triggers such as sudden loud noises or bright lights that can be very upsetting to the child.
There are a number of organizations now with a mission to help address the needs for persons living with autism. These services include support, education, healthcare provider referrals, legal resources, and more. Your healthcare provider should be able to supply you with contact information for these services.