When a child is diagnosed with autism, it is crucial that the parent takes immediate action in seeking the best possible education, help and support they need to give their child as normal a life as possible. The condition does not need to evolve into something that might lead to isolation for the child or the child’s family. Fortunately, there are many options available that can ensure the right skills are taught to the family in order to effectively take care of a family member with autism.
Definitions of Autism
The Autism spectrum consists of a wide variety of symptoms and behaviors. These can range from mild with more capabilities to severe with fewer capabilities. Children with autism can often be diagnosed before they reach the age of three, with symptoms often present in their first year. These symptoms include difficulty with social interaction, as well as problems with speech and language. The disorder itself is characterized by social withdrawal, repetitive behavior, inability to relate to others, and discomfort when in physical contact with another person. Depending on the severity, some children might experience seizures and develop epilepsy by the time they are adults.
Caring for a Child with Autism
An important first step for parents is to have their child thoroughly assessed in order to determine the severity of the disorder. Establishing this will determine the extent of care and treatment the child will need to live a happy life. In milder cases, the child can go to a regular school with an Individual Educational plan, as well as support from the government education system.
Children who are severely autistic are sometimes better off being treated in an autism care home, licensed by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. This route can be necessary for children that need round the clock supervision and care, and for those who struggle to function well without the necessary assistance.
Autism treatment will often include therapy to aid with behavior, speech, language, physical and nutrition.
Autism care homes that are state licensed are able to provide autistic children with a tailored plan that includes goals and objectives. These plans are put together by teachers, caregivers and a fully trained medical team. Parents should also involve themselves with the plan by setting goals for the child, assisting their child in reaching them. Medical staff should be on hand at all times, in addition to social workers trained in caring for children with autism.
Whilst autism care homes may be a tricky option for parents, there are many advantages that will make the child’s life better in the long term. They will receive constant round the clock care from medical professionals who know a great deal about autism, as well as enjoy social interaction with their caregivers and peers. Being in an environment where they are not the only individual with the disorder will alleviate their stress and give them a sense of belonging. Care homes can help provide the child with a feeling of security, with constant interaction with family and peers reinforcing their feelings of being safe and loved.
Author: Dane Cross is a freelance blogger currently writing on behalf of Autism Care UK, a provider of treatment and care for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.