How do I deal with autism in my child?
Q: How do I deal with autism in my child?
A: Here are a few important guidelines for creating the happiest and healthiest relationship with your autistic child.
Firstly, it is important to see your child as whole and perfect, living exactly the way God created her or him. That is the most powerful gift you can give yourself and your child. For many people who have children with autism (and/or other conditions), it is very difficult to look at their child and not see them as broken, damaged, or the myriad other terms assigned to their particular condition.
See your child as whole, perfect, beautiful, and living the life that his or her soul chose, wanted, needed, and created in accordance with God’s perfect plan and will. That will create a very wholesome and healthy relationship with your child and give you greater capacity to serve your child’s needs.
Secondly, many parents experience frustration and difficulty, stemming from their perception of the child’s inability to function in the world, and become focused on “fixing” their child and wanting their child to fit into the “normal” world. In so doing, they miss one of the most valuable and rich things one can do with a child, which is to enter into and ingratiate themselves into the child’s world.
I have worked with many autistic children and I have yet to meet one who will not readily receive someone into his or her world, provided that person is unconditionally loving, kind, patient, and (most of all) non-judgmental. Many people cannot see and do not know they hold judgments of their own autistic children—they can be so subtle, even unconscious. That judgment creates unseen barriers between parent and child. Furthermore, it is extremely important to ingratiate yourself into your child’s world, rather than trying to help your child adapt to your world.
By applying these three key principles in caring for your child, true communication will start to develop and you will see a realm of understanding open up between you and your child that will be nothing less than spellbinding. Finally, it is extremely important for you to have unending patience with this process. Never give up. And always remember the untold value of unconditional love, non-judgment, and acceptance of your whole and perfect child exactly as he/she is now.