In the United States, it has been estimated that one in 50 children who are school age have autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are three disorders that fall under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They are autism, Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder. There are many things that can be done to help children and adults who have been diagnosed with one of these disorders. Some people turn to applied behavior analysis, for instance.
People who have been diagnosed with a condition that falls in the ASD have problems with the information processing center in the brain. Synapses and nerve cells are impacted and the way they connect and organize is affected. Scientists have found strong evidence that this is a genetic issue though it is hard to tell if it is caused by rare combinations of common genetic differences or a rare set of mutations. Normally, it is diagnosed before the age of three and the number of children who have been found to have the disorder has increased dramatically since the 1980s. When they are infants, autistic children respond less to social stimuli such as their name. They smile and look at other people less often.
Early intervention, such as with applied behavior analysis, can help these children gain better skills for social, communications and self-care. There are schools for children with autism. Parents can send their autistic children to special needs schools or to a regular school as long as they offer programs that provide help for children with autism.
Regardless of the kind of school that you choose to send your child or if your course of action includes applied behavior analysis techniques, there are things you can do to make the start of the school year easier for your autistic child.
- Put up a calendar. It is hard for many children to gauge the amount of time that passes over their summer break. Most kids are not focused on going back to school, they are focused on all the fun they are having not going to school. Kids with autism can benefit greatly from having a physical calendar to look at. They can mark off the days as they pass and many find them useful tools to help them prepare for the next day. Parents should start talking to their child about the start of the school year at least a few weeks in advance. This will help them start to mentally prepare for the school year.
- Visit the school. Even if the school is one that your child has already attended, a few months is a long time for any child. Going to the school and either becoming familiar for the first time or get reacquainted with the facility may help relieve some of their anxiety. Walk around the grounds of the school and check out the areas they will use when they are there.
- Meet the teacher. Whether this is a new school or an old one, the teacher and other staff who may be working with your child’s class will be different. See if you can get a meeting with them for you and your child. This wil help reduce the anxiety level for both of you. It will also give you a chance to tell the teacher about your child’s specific needs and talents.
- Practice your morning routine. Your summer routine is different from your school year routine. It may take your child some getting used to so you should start working on that a few weeks before the start of the school year. This means you need to start getting up at the set time and start having activities earlier.
- Find a friend for your child.andnbsp;If your child does not know anyone in their class, you should try to set a play date with other kids in the class before the school year begins so that they will be kess nervous.
There have been a lot of advancements in the treatment of ASD. Applied behavior analysis is just one of them. Good experiences in school should also go a long way.