Which Parenting Style Is Best for Autism?


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Parenting is difficult, regardless of whether your children have autism or not. Parenting is hard either way. Yet, parents need to parent effectively to provide the best possible life for their children. With autism, parents are presented with a unique set of challenges. While there are many parenting styles to choose from, parents should ultimately choose one that suits their child’s needs. But there are also several things to consider: your cultural beliefs, religious background, financial situation, and your own personality and beliefs. Let’s take a look at some of the parenting styles that will work best for autistic children. 

Positive parenting

The aim of positive parenting is to reinforce and build a strong yet positive relationship between parent and child. With this parenting style, emotions, warmth, and affection are encouraged to reinforce the positive relationship. This is one of the best styles of parenting for parents who have autistic children. This is because it sets up trust and security. These are two aspects vital to the well-being of autistic children.  Part of positive parenting is also finding therapy services that work for your child. And you might find yourself looking for ABA services near me

Luckily, Lighthouse Autism Center is right on hand to help autistic children and their parents alike. They have multiple centers in the Midwest and offer ABA therapy. Positive parenting techniques include:

  • Praise: Highlight your child’s accomplishments positively.
  • The use of positive language: Encourage positive affirmations while avoiding negative language or even criticism. 
  • Clear boundaries.
  • Encourage your child to express themselves.
  • Allow your child to make their own choices where possible. 

Structured parenting

This style is based on a more routine approach. So, it focuses on predictability and consistency. This style works particularly well for autistic children since they can often feel stressed or anxious when their routines are thrown off balance. This parenting style also provides stability, which is vital in the development of an autistic child. Structured parenting techniques include:

  • Routine: Creating a visual of your child’s routine that they can view daily. Check out how to make your child’s visual schedule.
  • Task management: Breaking up tasks into manageable steps.
  • Communication: Communicating clearly and effectively.
  • Boundaries: Having clear boundaries that include consequences for behavior. 
  • Rewarding: Supplying a reward for positive behavior.  

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Collaborative parenting

Another great parenting style. Collaborative parenting involves an approach where parents and children work together to find solutions to everyday problems. This builds the child’s self-esteem. But not only that. With this parenting style, autistic children also build a sense of empowerment as it allows children to play an active role in their development and realize their strengths. Some of the techniques in this parenting style include:

  • Collaborating: Asking your child for their opinion or an idea on a subject.
  • Problem-solving: Allowing your child to create their own solutions to problems with your tips and guidance. 
  • Setting the tone: You, as the parent, are the example when it comes to positive communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Opinions: Allowing your child, within reason, to share their choices or opinions. 
  • Overcoming challenges: Looking at your child’s strengths and how they can be used to overcome obstacles.  

Adaptive parenting

This parenting style is one that allows you as the parent to encourage your child’s strengths and consistently work on them to improve them. Essentially, this parenting style adapts to the strengths and needs of your child. What this does for autistic children is allow them to build on their strengths and for parents to provide support on their challenges. Here are some of the techniques of this parenting style: 

  • Adjusting: Parents who have adopted this parenting style are the ones who then adjust their parenting style to fit their child’s needs.
  • Home updates: This parenting style also involves updates to your home. You will then modify your home to support your child’s sensory needs. For example, removing dark spaces if your child prefers brightly lit rooms. 
  • Interest: Find out which activities or interests your child enjoys, then consistently work on them.
  • Added resources: Seek help from professionals such as medical doctors, child psychologists, and even support groups too.
  • Accommodation: If your current home does not support your child’s needs, parents who use this parenting style will find suitable accommodations to assist their child.  

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Mindful parenting

This parenting style is all about the parent being present in their child’s life. It also includes parents taking the time and being patient with their children. This builds a strong connection between parent and child. This is because autistic children will feel more understood and accepted if their parents are more mindful. Some of the techniques of mindful parenting include:

  • Paying attention: For parents who adopt this parenting style, a large aspect is to be aware of their child’s body language and non-verbal cues.
  • Looking inward: Take a look at your emotions and how you react to situations. 
  • Empathy: Always practice empathy and also put yourself in your child’s shoes.
  • Being present: Avoid multitasking while spending time with your child. Also, be in the moment and remove distractions.
  • Open-minded: Always remain open-minded and remove any judgment towards your child. 

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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