Kids on the ASD spectrum show signs of anxiety frequently. As a parent, it might be difficult for you to see your kid anxious and in pain. The good thing is that there are several strategies that can help your kid beat anxiety.
In this blog, we will share ten actionable tips that will allow you to manage the stress of your kid with autism the right way – keep reading!
1. Understand Mood Swings
First of all, you need to fully understand the mood swings and personality of your kid. You have to know when your kid is anxious and when they do certain things out of fun. For example, hand flapping might be a sign of stress for kids with autism.
Contrary to what many parents think, it’s not difficult to find information about the routines of and personalities of kids with autism, as you can find several useful resources online. Make sure you check those resources to have a clear idea about when your kid is happy and when they are angry.
2. Teach Them Meditation
Meditation can help your kid with autism control anger without harming themselves or others around them. Contrary to the popular misconception, your kid can learn to meditate properly over the course of time. Provide proper training so your kid can learn how to meditate properly.
Make sure you ask for advice from your kid’s therapist when teaching your kid meditation so you don’t make any mistakes.
3. Boost Your Communication
During a meltdown, you won’t be able to help your kid calm down if you rely on regular communication. You will have to learn about different communication strategies that are specifically effective when your kid is angry.
Analyze your communication behaviors so you can pick the best communication strategy for your dear kid.
4. Manage the Sensory Experiences
Unwanted sensory experiences can make it difficult for your kid to curb their anger. If you want your kid to beat anger without harming themselves in the process, you need to manage the sensory experiences in your home.
You should have a safe sensory place in your home where your kid can calm down and overcome their stress.
5. Find Self-Soothing Strategies
Remember that your kid with autism is not much different from other kids as they also yearn for your fun activities. During a meltdown, you can suggest your kid enjoy soothing strategies that can help them calm down and overcome anger.
For example, you can ask your kid to count to 10 or walk around the room. You should compare different calming strategies to choose the ones which are best suited for your kid.
6. Review the Routine
Sticking with a tough routine can also cause your kid with autism to get angrier. As a parent, you can play a huge part by reviewing the routine of your kid and identifying if there are any useful changes that can be made.
7. Try Aromatherapy
Calming scents can help your kid overcome anger and feel calm. You can try using an aroma diffuser in your kid’s room and try if scents help them feel better. Make sure you discuss aromatherapy with your kid’s therapist to avoid adverse effects.
If your kid’s therapist approves of aromatherapy, you should consider reviewing different aromatherapy items online so you can get the best value for money.
8. Get Advice from Other Parents
The best way you can provide unwavering support to your kid during meltdowns is by following the successful strategies of other parents. Reach out to fellow parents and ask them what they find the most effective for helping their child calm down.
9. Gather the Right Items
Certain items can help your kid beat stress without harming themselves. These items are readily available and can be bought even if you are on a tight budget. However, to find which one of the items is the most suited for your kid, you need to know about these items in detail.
Here is a short overview of different items/gadgets that help your kid with autism get rid of stress the right way:
i. Tech Gear
There are several tech gadgets available in the market that can help your kid communicate better. You will need to review different communication gadgets and ask for advice from your kid’s therapist to buy the right gadgets.
ii. Chew Toys
Chewy items can stop your kid from biting their tongue or grinding their teeth. Instead of inflicting self-harm, chewy items will allow kids to control their anger without having to get all worked up and harm themselves or others around them.
iii. Weighted Blanket
Deep touch pressure can do wonders for kids with autism. For example, you can ask your kid to get under a weighted blanket when they get angry and experience a meltdown. Compare different heavy blankets or lap pads to choose the one that you find the most useful.
iv. Calm Pets
The presence of a calm pet can also help your kid with autism cool off. You can have a calm dog, cat, or any other pet that stays calm most of the time. Your kid can spend time with their pet to overcome their feelings of anger.
v. Sensory Toys
Kids with autism suffer the most from sensory overload. Loud noise, certain images, and busy surroundings can push your kid to get angry. You can buy sensory toys for your kid so they relieve anger and get in the right mood.
vi. Physical Exercises
Doing exercise is another great way your kid with autism can rely on to calm down. You should explore different exercise options for your kid to choose the ones which suit them most.
10. Rely on Professional Help
Keep in mind that not all the strategies you try will be helpful for your kid to overcome meltdowns. This is why you need to rely on professional advice and follow their word as a last resort for the betterment of your kid.
You should consider taking your kid to a therapist regularly so you can find professional advice for changing habits and patterns.