Autism - Home Treatment
Having a child with
autism requires taking a proactive approach to
learning about the condition and its treatment while working closely with
others involved in your child's care. You also need to take care of yourself so
that you are able to face the many challenges of having a child with
Educate yourself about autism
Ask your doctor or
contact autism groups to find training about autism and how to manage
symptoms. Parent and family education has been shown to reduce family stress
and improve a child's functioning.5 Understanding the
condition and knowing what to expect is an important part of helping your child
Become informed about your
child's educational rights. Federal laws require
services for handicapped children, including those with autism. Also,
there may be state and local laws or policies to aid children who have autism. Find
out what services are available in your area.
Learning about autism will also help prepare you for when your child
reaches adulthood. Some
adults with autism can live by themselves, work, and
be as independent as other people their age. Others need continued support.
Work closely with others who care for your child
Close communication with others involved in your child's education and care
will help all concerned. The best treatment for children with autism is a team
approach and a consistent, structured program. Everyone involved needs to work
together to set goals for:
- Identifying and
managing symptoms of autism and any related conditions.
and interactions with family and peers, adjustment to different environments,
and social and communication skills.
Work closely with the health professionals involved in
your child's care. It is important that they take time to listen to your
concerns and are willing to work with you.
Take care of yourself
Learn ways to handle the
normal range of emotions, fears, and concerns that go along with raising a
child who has autism. The daily and long-term challenges put you and your other
children at an increased risk for depression or stress-related illnesses. The
way you handle these issues influences other family members.
- Get involved in a hobby, visit with friends,
and learn ways to relax.
- Seek and accept
support from others. Consider using respite care,
which is a family support service that provides a break for parents and
siblings. Also, support groups for parents and siblings are often
available. People who participate in support groups can benefit from others'
experiences. For more information on support groups in your area, contact the
Autism Society of America at www.autism-society.org.
- Talk with a
doctor about whether counseling would help if you or one of your children is
having trouble handling the strains related to having a family member with