As soon as a child is diagnosed with autism, families, particularly parents will surely be bombarded with research that centers on 'recovery' or 'cure.' For the majority, this has become the focus of their efforts. As time passes most families view the absence of a cure as equivalent to a tragedy.
There is good news though. It is highly possible to mend and improve the quality of life for those with autism including their families through a carefully designed support for positive, constructive behavior.
Let us establish a vision first. What do we aim to achieve? What is considered as a meaningful life for people with autism? With adequate support, families aim to promote independence to their loved one who is autistic. As children, it's ideal for them to go on with their daily routines at home, parents are educated as to how to substitute problem behaviors to socially accepted ones. As soon as these children become adults, they should be able to live in their own home, with housemates of their choice. They should be able to get a job that matches their skills and interests. While not all people with autism can accomplish and experience these positive outcomes, a great number will attain some or even most. With these in mind, families should be more hopeful about the future, knowing that the absence of a cure does not mean the absence of a great life.
How can we overcome obstacles? One of the best approaches that is worth looking into is that it must be home and community based. Enhancing the quality of life needs an approach that deals with behavior concerns in normal situations at home, workplace, school, and community. Let's take into consideration a simple academic skill like learning to name colors. You might say that this may not have much impact to the family life but in fact, it will benefit the child in many ways. Take him to the intersection. You can teach that green means look both ways and if there's no traffic, cross the road. Red means "don't move!" This manner of teaching encourages not only independence in adults, but safety, and a sense of confidence in his parents' minds.
The same holds true for problem behavior. The goal of the family should be to reduce the level of frustration to weaken the need for problem behavior. They can be taught how to effectively communicate their needs or frustrations. You can also reach out for emotional support to your respective communities.