World Autism Awareness Day: Raising a child with autism
Mugdha Kalra is a mother whose son is in the autism spectrum. She is also an autism activist and advocates the importance of awareness around autism. On World Autism Awareness Day, she speaks to Only My Health about accepting and understanding limitations of children with autism.
My son is 8 years old and he is an autistic child. Due to autism spectrum, his mental development is slower than normal kids. He does not have the right verbal ability according to his age. It is very difficult to make him sit at one place which enables him to grasp anything particular. This is also called ADHD, which stands for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The most common question that almost every parent of an autistic child asks that can their child attend a normal school like other kids?
No, I would not suggest that a normal school is suitable for an autistic child. Suppose an autistic child goes to a normal school like CBSE, then after a level, the knowledge which is expected from a child, cannot be seen in the result. That is why instead of a normal school, in such a situation you should choose special education institutes. But before starting the actual learning process of a child with autism it is necessary to give them four types of therapy first, which may include:
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Behavioral Therapy
- Sensory Integration Therapy
These four therapies develop a foundation of learning for every child
When a child is detected with autism spectrum after full investigation, a psychiatrist or therapist will tell you what kind of therapy your child needs.
It is often observed that such children do not get along with other kids very well. But getting such children enrolled in a play school or for primary schooling, will help them understand the atmosphere better, where they can learn to talk and they will also start interacting with the people. Along with primary schooling, the child also needs special education and therapy. When the child starts to understand a few things, then he needs a special school that understands the learning speed of the child and other symptoms as well.
You should focus on making the child independent so that he can perform activities own his own in the future. In the meantime, you should also focus on the various things that your child needs in the future and you should start focusing on those like addition, subtraction, multiplication and other basics.
later you should focus on the specialty of your child. If your child is expressing interest in any particular activity then you should motivate them. Otherwise, you should motivate your child and give enough opportunity to develop any particular interest. Later you should help your child develop his or her interest in the specialty.
As it is said "you cannot teach a fish to fly" the same applies to children with autism. You cannot expect such children to be very different from their potential. But if you have given that child the environment in which he can move beyond his ability, then you will get better results.
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