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How Your Family Can Offer Autism Support to Your Loved One

When it comes to raising a child with autism, it can be challenging for parents without proper support. We always say ‘it takes a village’, which mostly pertains to having a strong group of ancillary parties who care about your child. This can and should include friends, relatives, therapists, and school officials – basically anyone who is consistently involved in your child’s life.

However, even with this idea in mind, it is important to maintain proper learning techniques and routines across the board. Children with autism thrive on consistency, so if someone who works with them often is not up to speed on their autism services programming, they can cause some confusion or slow their progress even though their intentions are good. Thus, we recommend learning how to properly educate your family and anyone else who will be working with your loved one.

What is the Best Way to Support Someone with Autism?

Though every child and family with a child diagnosed with ASD is in a unique situation, there are some key elements to providing support for people with autism that have been proven to work in most cases. It does not matter whether the person is a blood relative, friend, or even hired help; everyone should be on the same page in terms of your plan and any professionally prescribed treatment.

The first thing to make sure of is that all parties who work with your child stay within the routines you have developed. Communication with your support group is vital to making sure they react appropriately when your child is in a difficult social or education situation. If the wrong type of response is displayed, it can decrease valuable progress in regard to specific behaviors.

Family Autism Support

Most importantly, being an ally with a positive attitude and patience in all environments will be the best way to support your child. We can’t expect all of our friends and family to be perfect in their knowledge and response, but we can educate them and ask them to follow the plan.

What is the Best Therapy for Autism?

While we will always impart that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment, there have been several that are clinically proven to be more effective for the type of behavioral results sought after in modern ASD treatment.

If you are looking to enroll your child in a type of treatment or therapy, we recommend considering looking into ABA (applied behavioral analysis). ABA is one of the most prevalent and successful therapies today, and uses data points in relation to common behaviors in order to track change. A huge pro to ABA is that there is programming built in to help parents integrate their family and friends into a support group. This specifically allows for your loved one to get early intervention treatment via specific ABA implementations from a diverse group of allies.

One of the other strong characteristics of ABA therapy is that it works so well in conjunction with other forms of concurrent treatment for behaviors often affected by autism. These include:

  • Speech Therapy: Speech and language therapy is extremely common for children with ASD. ABA can work to enhance these treatments, as there are many cues and PRT elements within ABA designed to help speech skills. Speech focuses on the form of language and ABA works on the function, which creates an effective match.
  • IEP: An Individualized Education Plan is recommended for any form of developmental disability therapy. ABA works to include educators, therapists, and family members to help make an IEP as effective as possible for a student across all environments.
  • BCBA Collaboration: For any treatment, you want to make sure that board-certified individuals and licensed behavior analysts are working with your children. ABA specifically has training and protocols for collaboration across therapies and learning spaces to make sure your child has a chance to thrive no matter what level of familiarity they have with an environment.

ABA therapy might not ultimately be the route that you and your family choose, but we strongly advise consulting with a professional therapist who includes it as an option in their suite of treatments. With all the positive data on its efficacy, we believe it to be one of the most inclusive and long-term effective treatments for your loved one.

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Offering Autism Support to Your Loved One

In order to supplement the best BCBA-led therapy and integrate your support group into your personalized treatment plan, here are some quick tips that have proven to be helpful:

  1. Ask your therapist who can participate in training sessions: Inclusivity in allies is a great strength for many treatment plans. However, we always want to be respectful of providers, learning environments, and your child. Thus, consult your therapist to see what they feel is appropriate in terms of including your close inner circle such as uncles, aunts, siblings, and grandparents, for example.
  2. Provide consistency across the board: If and when you include allies into your family support group for a child with ASD, there has to be consistency in the approach you take. This includes teaching resources, behavioral responses, and the overall attitude when dealing with your loved one.
  3. Create allies in common environments: Another great element of ABA is that your child’s school can create an IEP which can be brought to the clinic and used coordination of care. Similarly, if you have daycares, relatives, or friends who are working with your child in spaces for playtime, sports, or other educational environments, they can participate. Bringing coordination to all of these environments allows for the consistency that makes ABA so successful.
  4. Let your child know about new allies: Change in routine or personnel can be difficult for children with ASD. If you are able to introduce them to new members of the support group, it can be a great comfort. Ultimately, we want to establish the most consistent life for our children, and your presence will always help.

Autism Family Support

Autism Support at Ally Pediatric Therapy

At Ally Pediatric Therapy, we aim to provide the best environment for ASD families to thrive. This includes specific programming for a strong support group, and we specialize in helping parents create the appropriate boundaries within a unique therapy plan.

If you are looking to build a better future for you and your child, reach out for a free consultation today; we’d love to help.