How To Calm A Child With Autism?

How To Calm A Child With Autism?

4 Apr 2022 | 4 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 607 Articles

The joy of becoming parents cannot be expressed in words. However, dealing with a child who has an autism spectrum disorder can be challenging. Apart from the medical care and therapies that you might line up to help your autistic child, there are some simple, everyday things that make a difference for sure.

Children with autism have a difficult time managing their behaviour. Children with severe autism can also get upset on a daily basis. They can also have a behavioural outburst or meltdown which makes it difficult to participate in everyday activities.

It is not always easy to calm a child with autism. However, there are techniques that can help parents to calm an autistic child. This article explores some of those techniques. Read on to know more.

Tips for Calming A Child With Autism

Here are some tips for calming a child with autism:

  1. Communication: Children with autism cannot communicate properly. They have less control over their emotions than their typical peers. Hence, communication is vital to calm an autistic child.

The way you bond with the child is significant. You should speak respectfully, showing that you are listening with a calming tone.

It is important to pick non-verbal cues that autistic children use to communicate. When the child with autism acts out, it is often because you are not picking up on their nonverbal cues.

Try to pay attention to the kind of sounds they make when they are tired, hungry, or want something.

  1. Have an escape plan: If your austic child is easily overwhelmed, you can have an escape plan ready so that you know what to do when anxiety strikes.

This may involve counting numbers, walking away, deep breathing, watching a calming video, or reading a comforting book.

  1. Give space: Your austic child might need time for themselves to practise self-calming techniques.

If the child feels overstimulated, allow them to have time to themselves.

It is all about giving your child space and looking for something that works for him/ her. Try to remain calm when your child has a meltdown.

Bringing your child to a safe space can help you to make him/ her calm by creating an association between this zone and the calm disposition.

  1. Reinforce positive behaviour: Acknowledge the feelings of your child and praise them for good behaviour.

Try giving hugs and commend them on how they managed to do a thing well.

Empathy helps avoid tantrum outbursts as your autistic child would learn to have your attention.

If your child feels like you are listening, they think their experience is validated.

Specific sensory tools or toys can help lower anxiety in your autistic child. | Image Source: pixabay

  1. Sensory tools: Specific sensory tools like stim toys, weighted lap pads, noise-cancelling headphones, and fidget toys can help lower anxiety in your autistic child.

You can offer these sensory tools to your child when he/ she gets overwhelmed.

These sensory tools can refocus their attention elsewhere and can calm your child down.

  1. Make your environment comfortable for the child: An autistic child is often lost in emotions. Try to remove any trigger.

You might switch the music off or look for a soothing environment. You should do everything you can to create a cosy space where your child would feel safe.

Try to make them feel safe and loved by staying around them.

  1. Stick to a routine: As the parent of a child with autism, try to stick to a routine.
Try to stay around your little one as an autistic child loves to get pampered. | Image Source: freepik

Regular meals, therapy, play and bed time are important because it helps the child to perform better.

It is a stress relief for many kids. Most importantly, sticking to a routine adds to the learning potential. The child will also be merry and at peace.

Shiny Vinson, Principal of Navajeevan Special School in Kochi argues, “Never let the child alone for a long time. Keep them engaged even if it is at home. Teach them new things and let siblings also understand how they can reach out if needed.”

Children with autism often get addicted to gadgets. Try to reduce screen time. Identify your child’s talents and skills and help them to nurture the same.

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