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Common Mistakes Made By Parents Of Autistic Children

By: Colleen Ross Moore

One of the most common mistakes made by parents raising an autistic child, is lacking acceptance for the way their child is. One of the best ways to show a child love, is to truly accept the way they are and proceed with that mindset. It's the first step in the right direction to truly do the best you can to raise your child.

Another common mistake made by parents, is the coddling of their child. An autistic child may need different care from a non-autistic child, but some parents take it to an extreme. You want to treat your child appropriately for their age, so if your child is in his late teens, he should be dressing his or herself, using the facilities on his own, showering, and so on. If you don't train your child to do these things on his or her own, what will they do when they grow to be an adult?

For instance, say there's a mother with a small build, and her son grows to be over six feet tall. What can she do to keep her child from injuring himself, or possibly even injuring her, without the proper behavioral training when the child was younger? The son may not mean to hurt himself or his mom, but if he isn't taught not to act out in that way, it'll be much more difficult to to curtail these actions when he's older. Autism requires the parents to make many sacrifices and hard choices.

This very reason is why I don't let Ross behave in that manner. I even instruct his caretakers to discipline him, and not let him behave like a 5 year old when he's thirty. They don't let him act out, and because of this Ross knows how to behave correctly, and if he doesn't there are consequences (such as having to sit on his hands while in a large chair until he calms down).

Unfortunately, sometimes he has to be confined. It can be dangerous, but they keep him off the floor because there have been instances where that has been fatal - They instead have him hold a a basket or something like that. Thankfully, at his age Ross knows when a seizure is coming and he will lay down in anticipation. We're also testing out using a weighted blanket to help restrain him during an episode.

If autism is diagnosed at a very early age and your child exhibits these behaviors, you can use a weighted blanket and they'll calm down immediately. Also, a tight hug can also have the same effect. Then, using good communication and with a lot of love and the adequate therapy and ABA, your child should be able to live a healthy life and should not progress to the same stage as Ross.

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