Welcome to The Cherry On Top,
On Monday's we take a break from crafting and dive into ways to help parents, teachers, family and friends how to deal with Autism. We provide tips that have worked for us and a couple of others that we may not have tried, but seem to be great ideas.
We totally understand that the Autism spectrum is huge and not all of these tips might work with your kid, but if you're like us, we'll try anything at least once. Sometimes techniques work right away, but stop working. Other times a technique might take a while until we see it's effects. Just don't give up.
We're looking at ways to help your children listen. These tips are great for any kid or even for adults. Some might be no brainers, but read through and try to implement as many as you can to see which ones work.
The very first tip is to stop doing what you're doing.
This might even be one of the harder tips. Hehehe... I only recently started doing this myself. I have always been a mega multi tasker. However, I noticed just how effective this tip works. Who doesn't appreciate when someone puts everything aside and gives you their undivided attention? What a nice thing to do to or for anyone at all times. Especially, if you expect them to listen to you, when you speak.
For our Autistic boys it's different. My youngest son with more symptoms needs a lot more than just me stopping what I'm doing. While my other son can totally deal with it.
I have found it most effective to actually look into his eyes and even better still, sit him on my lap, touch his shoulder or perhaps put my hand gently on his waist. This works wonderfully even when they are older.
However, not all Autistic kids can handle this. So use caution if you're not sure. Some children or even adults do not like to look at folks who are speaking directly to them. My youngest was like this and still has his moments where it is much easier to concentrate on what I'm saying if he doesn't have to look at me. We certainly do NOT require our children to look at us when we speak.
I'm not sure how all kids are, but our youngest focuses so much on every detail of the face and how it moves that he cannot also digest what it is we are saying as well. Which brings us to the next tip.
Use simple sentences.
This is not always easy, but it is often essential if you really want them to understand what you are saying. Take a moment. Gather your thoughts, then speak and always speak positively. Avoid lectures. Trust me, they will stop listening.
Speak evenly and softly.
Boy, is this one a tough one for me. I grew up with a loud Archie Bunker kind of father, but I've learned over a lot of time, that this technique works wonderfully. The more quietly I speak, the more they have to focus and listen. Besides, even as adults, we often shut off if someone is shouting at us and kids are no different. They stop listening.
It's only fair. If you expect them to listen to you, then you should listen to them and prove you are listening by nodding or even better, repeat what they say or respond calmly using any of the tips above. Always recognise their feelings. This goes for anyone and it's a super lesson to learn. What someone feels is all THEM and they are entitled to those feelings irregardless of what others think. We might think it's silly or overboard, but it is what it is to them and we can't take that away.
Go To Them
If your child doesn't come the first time you call, don't shout even louder. Go to them and make your point using the steps above. It will show them an excellent example and save yourself a sore throat.
Check out this link at The Super Nanny. They give some really awesome tips, too.
So try out these suggestions. They all really work great. Soon, they will become habit and you'll notice the house a bit a quieter and everyone less stressed. As if?! Hehehe...
Thanks for stopping by The Cherry. We'll see you next week for more on Autism.