Learning to Communicate with a Child with Autism


It’s hard enough being a child and growing up in a world that can be confusing, overwhelming, and scary. Children don’t fully understand everything adults do, and so it can appear difficult to them to complete even simple tasks.

But then add in a developmental disability such as autism-spectrum disorder. When a child with autism goes through the same challenges as other children, he or she may have an even harder time coping.

Autism makes communicating especially difficult for children, but no matter what the child’s issues are, it’s up to you, the parents, to do your best to make things easier.

A big part of that will be communicating with your child to let him or her know everything will be fine and that you are there to help.

How can you communicate effectively with a child with autism? Taking your child for regular treatment at an ABA clinic may help. ABA therapy is a type of behavioral treatment that encourages good behaviors while discouraging bad ones.

In the meantime, here are some communication tips that may help you.

Teach the Child about Anger

Children with autism may struggle to express their anger in socially acceptable ways. They may act out or throw tantrums to show they are not happy. Your communication as a parent may help here. You can tell the child that there are other ways to express that anger without doing something considered wrong.

Things that make the child angry can be talked out rationally and resolved. Tell your child anger is not bad in itself. It’s all about how it is expressed. Once your child knows some better ways to show anger, you may be able to help correct the bad behavior.

Respect Your Child’s Boundaries

Each child with autism is different. Some communicate better than others. Some enjoy physical contact, while others truly dislike it. And, as we know, so much of communication can be non-verbal.

If you find that your upset child responds much better when you console in conjunction with physical touch, such as a hug, then by all means continue to hug your child. However, if you discover your child becomes even more despondent if you try to touch them, back off from that approach.

Consoling your child should be focused on what the child wants and finds most comfortable, not what you, the parent, think should be the resolution.

Never Forget to Tell Them You Love Them

Even though every child with autism will express his or her emotions to you differently, they still have to know you love them. Nothing else really matters when it comes to this: if your child feels you don’t love and care about them, there is probably nothing you can do to make other things better.

Tell them you love them, but don’t be afraid to show it, too! Whether that means hugs or doing things the child wants, or simply making time to play their favorite game, make sure you do what will make the child happy.

These communication tips, along with the ABA therapy you get from a professional clinic, can work together to help your child with autism to shine like never before.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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1 month ago

Brilliant tips; and we shouldn’t forget that the learning process is also complicated for autistic children. It’s always nice to read success stories of students with learning disorders who went over obstacles while studying at school. I found a little research about autistic child’s problems from the point of view of school and parenthood (the full story is here), and it’s a big work to help kids with mental disorders succeed in all spheres of life. Parental care matters a lot.