There is going to be an adjustment period as the people in your life come together to support your child and help them develop behavioral and social skills following an autism diagnosis. There is no reason to leave anyone in the household out of your plans to help your child with autism become as successful as possible. Figuring out how to involve your family in autism therapy will make everyone stronger and more compassionate and will create a better support system for each other and your kiddo.
Everyone Follows the Schedules
As you begin to establish schedules and create routines to let your child know what to expect each day, involve your other children. All kids like knowing what to anticipate, as it eases their anxiety. These schedules may not all have the same things on them, but using the same practices for all family members will help everyone understand one another’s obligations and duties. Using visual charts to represent schedules and noted changes in them will be useful for everyone.
Practice Using Descriptive Feelings
The better your family becomes at describing what they’re feeling at any given time, the better. It may be difficult for your child to show an understanding of reactions to certain events. Prompting your family members to articulate their emotional responses to certain stimuli can be helpful. Encouraging the use of language and descriptive words associated with emotion is therapeutic for everyone.
Play Games Together
Being open and communicative about thoughts and feelings will help with the social and verbal aspects of autism therapy. Encourage the family to play games together. Even if the experiences are difficult or take some adjusting, teaching your child to be patient, take turns, show courtesy, and follow the rules is excellent for building social skills.
Of course, individuals on the autism spectrum possess a wide range of capabilities and skills. Tailor your activities to your situation and your child’s abilities. Even playing a game that another child in the family enjoys could be a difficult transition for your child on the spectrum. Still, it is a good lesson to learn that we cannot always control a situation or do what we want, and we must try to respect the people around us.
It can be challenging to know how to involve your family in autism therapy at first. There will be days when it’s tough to focus on everyone and other days when you will hopefully see growth. These bonds between family members are lifelong; there’s no point in leaving anyone out of the process. Encouraging and allowing your children to rally around their sibling is a kind of therapy in itself. Letting them be a part of the other physical, mental, and emotional work is essential.