Dealing with children on the autism spectrum (Part Two):

In the first part, we talked about how to communicate with the child at the beginning of the diagnosis, how to reduce his isolation and how to deal with him during the day and help him understand his environment so that he is able to give responses without tantrums.

In the second stage, the child begins to be trained in basic skills for the early intervention stage 

First: eye contact through play:

Because eye contact and looking at people and things is an entrance to teaching him other things, such as teaching him to respond to simple instructions and process them.

Second: Sitting on the chair:

The topic of sitting on the chair helps the child to focus more.

He is trained to sit by playing with cuddly objects, not by coercion or punishment. We put the favorite game on the table and he sits on the chair to play with it and the duration is gradually increased until he seems able to train on other things.

So we make the beloved things an entrance to sit and train without tantrums, and then train him to respond to instructions in the place of training and in daily life.

Third, the skill of request:

It is very important to teach the child how to ask for the things he wants to avoid tantrums when he is unable to express.

If the child is unable to order when he wants food, he will have a tantrum, and the same applies when he wants to play and paint. All because of the difficulty of communication.

B Some children are articulate and some are unable to speak, so it is impossible for a child to bargain over speech if he is not prepared for this stage, because some children are not even able to make sounds, so how will he be bargained for pronouncing a whole word?!

We see what is the appropriate way to position the child and make it a means of communication, for example, some ask by pointing, some speak, and some use pictures or electronic applications.

The topic of communication in children depends on the child’s condition and abilities, so this matter must be realized before tantrums occur, with the help of a behavioral specialist and a speech therapist.

The speaking child can bargain with him, “Say the phone,” and when he says it, he takes it because he is able to imitate speech. If he cannot imitate speech, we look for another means of communication suitable for him and train him to imitate.

Fourth: Giving instructions:

After mastering eye contact, sitting on a chair, and the child’s ability to interact and integrate with the coach or the mother, the tantrums will be greatly reduced.

Therefore, when moving to the stage of instructions, you should start gently with the child and not give him a huge number of commands, “Do, write, wear, close, name, ride…” in a sequential manner, because giving orders in this way is rejected by adults as well.

The correct way is to start giving the child orders and instructions during the daily context, when he wants to eat, “Come on, open the kitchen door,” “Open the refrigerator,” “Bring milk, pour the milk,” “Bring the spoon,” and so on.

By starting gradually with the daily context, the matter will be completed, and with the provision of assistance in the first stages by holding his hand and guiding him and not using a loud voice, because it is possible that the child does not respond except when screaming and it is possible that he ignores and breaks off the relationship with the person in front of him because of fear.

Children of the autism spectrum who lack passion and desire for many things are not affected by some games, foods and drinks, so a method must be found to attract them, return their desire, help them and not abuse them.

Anyone who has a problem is our duty to help him solve it, and these children also have the right to help them.

Fifth: Self-care skills:

Attention must be paid to the child’s self-care, such as eating and drinking alone, going to the bathroom alone, dressing and undressing.

And that is by helping and analyzing the task (it was mentioned earlier on the YouTube channel of specialist Rahaf Al-Tarazi).

Noticing these skills does not need the intervention of specialists and centers, but rather directs the parents at the beginning of the intervention with the child.

Sixth: child occupation:

The child’s time must be filled and busy so that he does not occupy himself with unwanted behaviors, occupying him with games, activities and correct play instead of resorting to other behaviors such as spinning, flapping, moving from one place to another…

And if the child has no desire to play or has no playing skills, we must help him and train him in playing skills properly.

We bring him games that do not require much effort so that they do not become a punishment for him, such as: a game of colors, a game of sounds, a game of lights, a ball that enters from one place and exits from another, spinning games, cars that emit sound and light…. The child will play with it, possibly for seconds, then the duration will gradually increase.

It is possible to resort to motor games such as tickling, holding the child, hugging and lifting him, taking him to the garden, playing with him with water or sand.. We must find something that the child desires and make it an entrance through which we teach him to sit, imitate, communicate, respond to instructions..

The child may not respond from the first week or month. The period depends on each child’s condition individually and his abilities. Some of them need days and others months.

Results will be seen inevitably because the applied behavior analysis is scientifically proven with autistic children in research, but you must be patient and apply a clear program to see the results and cooperate with specialists.

More importantly, seeing a happy child enjoying himself during training with the lowest level of stress and anxiety and the occurrence of tantrums that hinder his learning process.

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