Tips for parents and children with ASD

April 3, 2020 by Asha Subramaniam

These are great tips for parents with children who have ASD. We would like to add a few things to McLellan’s list.

1. Maintain a routine:

It is good to have a set wakeup and sleep time. Often having snacks and meals at regular times helps kids who might not be able to explain when they are hungry (or should I say hangry).

2. Get outside

Physical activity is a great way to promote sensory regulation. Even just going in your backyard so you avoid other people and keep your kids safe. Think of outside play that gets them jumping, running or rolling on the grass. These activities provide big joint input which is calming for your sensory system. You can have them help with heavy work like raking leaves, tilling the garden or pouring water for the plants. These activities help to give the body pushing and pulling inputs which can be very calming (and tiring).

3. Prioritize calming skills

It is important to take time to relax a little. Practice breathing in and out with deep breaths. You can use a phone app like Calm to help you with this or use some relaxation music. Even a nice bath with a back massage after can help calm the sensory systems. Even playing some quiet relaxation music for times when you all need a break.

4. Don’t get too wrapped up in academics.

This is a great time to make crafts and engage in sensory play. Have them make homemade playdough. This will strengthen their hands. Have fun cutting up your junk mail. Get them to help in the kitchen. Making cookies or helping with dinner works on many fine motor skills like hand strength, bilateral coordination, motor planning and cognitive skills. Plus you get to have a treat after by eating your creations.

5. Take time off to teach daily living skills.

Remember telling your therapist you don’t have time to work on dressing skills? That’s okay, we all are usually very busy. Well if you have more time now, take the time to work on buttons, laces, zipper. Encourage them to eat independently and brush their own teeth. Make it fun!

Last but most important. Make time for hugs and cuddles. That is the best medicine for us all right now.

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