To most people, autism is fictional. They believe you only see autistic persons in movies and TV shows and many believe autism is a very rare condition. This is quite far from the truth as the World Health Organization reports that one in 160 children live with autism. The United Nations General Assembly created World Autism Awareness Day to shed more light on autism.
Autism awareness day seeks to spread information about autism, aid early detection and diagnosis, and raise awareness about the lives of people with autism.
One way to get involved is to know what autism is and learn how to help your autistic child, family member, or friends. This is because support is crucial and can help them feel better.
What is autism?
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a term used to describe a set of neurodevelopmental disorders. Although there is no single or known cause for autism, it is widely accepted that brain function or structure abnormalities cause the condition. Now, autism affects both women and men, but it especially has a tremendous impact on children. And because the condition is significantly common, raising awareness of autism is essential.
How to Help those Living with Autism
Are you a parent who just discovered that your child had been diagnosed with autism?
Do you have autistic siblings, friends, or loved ones?
The following tips can help lend a hand of care and support:
Know more about the condition
The more information you have and know about autism, the better you are at helping your autistic love-me one. Learning about the condition can help guide your decision on treatment options, and it can spur you to ask relevant questions while speaking with a doctor.
Be attentive to sensitivities
Typically, autistic children and adults are pretty sensitive to smell, touch, taste, and even light. However, others are not so sensitive to all these. Your role is to figure out the level of hyper or under-sensitivity. This helps to detect what triggers actions and behaviours. Know what your loved one finds pleasant, uncomfortable or stressful. It helps to create a healthy and worry-free environment.
Create a working schedule
People living with autism must have an organized schedule. Create daily schedules that contain meal time, school time, playtime, and bedtime. This promotes consistency and adaptability. Enjoy that disruptions do not occur regularly, but let your ward know in advance if it does.
Listen to them to know what the condition means to them
While celebrating world autism day 2021, remember to always stay in contact with your autistic friend or family member. This way, they can share their experiences with you. This gives you a better understanding of autism and directs you on what to do to make them feel better.
Make the home a safe space
If your child is living with autism, ensure that your home is safe and warm. You can map out spaces and rooms to help your child feel comfortable and relaxed. These spaces can have cues such as coloured labels or sticky notes with useful information on moving around at home. This is especially helpful to autistic kids that exhibit injurious behaviours.
Make room for hobbies and fun
It is normal for people living with autism and their loved ones to focus on therapy. But that is not all there should be about life. Create a playtime schedule and engage in enjoyable activities. This can help your child stay happy and feel more like every other kid.
As you join the world to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day, remember to support autistic people. Ask questions, enlighten the next person and donate to support organizations.