So many people believe autism in children is a life sentence, but we at The Star Academy know that autism in children is just an opportunity to work harder towards our goal recovery or functional independence. Another question: what is autism in children not? It is not a definition of your child; it just means you need a strong team supporting you and your family.
With a personalized programme to suit every child’s needs, a team trained to meet your child’s deficits and a supervisor ready to handle any questions, queries and programming, you as parents can do a lot to help your child realise their potential. The Star Academy knows that the answer to what is autism in children is “a journey worth taking”.
With the support of a team, there are also a lot of things that you as a parent can do for you child. An autism diagnosis can be a big shock for any parent, but it is very important to take care of yourself as well, being emotionally strong allows you to be the best parent for your child.
It is important to get treatment for your child as soon as possible or as soon as your get the diagnosis, the sooner your child gets the right treatment plan the better.
Never give up, every parent hopes for a child that is healthy and happy, finding out that your child has autism can be very hard. Never give up on your child. Autism can be a tough pill to swallow for any parent but with the right treatment plan you can rest assured that your child will learn new skills, language concepts as well as independent life skills.
Find a way to communicate with your child. There are many ways for you to learn to communicate with your child whether your child is vocal or non-vocal. The Star Academy has many tools and techniques for development of speech and language.
For a non-vocal child there are a few options to teach your child to communicate with you and the world
- PECS (picture exchange communication system): Where a child will give you a picture of what he/she wants.
- Touch Chat/Proloquo2Go: These are apps you can download on an iPad to help your child tell you what they need.
- PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets): This technique involves giving your child tactile-kinaesthetic input to teach their speech-motor system how to the coordinated and precise movements necessary for speech.
- Pairing: This research-based technique involves presenting speech sounds when your child is engaged in a highly-preferred activity, and serves to increase your child’s own speech.
- Free Operant Reinforcement: This research-based technique involves rewarding your child each time they produce a speech sound, increasing the future likelihood of them producing speech sounds.
In addition to building your child’s skills, behaviour management is another important point to raise when answering the question what is autism in children. Many children with autism exhibit behaviour that impairs their ability to socialise and learn and which stems from poor communication skills or sensory needs. The Star Academy staff are skilled in designing and implementing specialised Behaviour Intervention Plans (BIPs), as well as training the significant people in your child’s life to follow these BIPs.
Make fun times for your child, stay positive and remember: With the right treatment plan, a dedicated team and brave parents, the possibilities for your child are endless.