If you’re a parent to a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you may be looking for some ways to help your little one become more productive, independent, and communicative for a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. And fortunately, a few simple tweaks to your daily routine and living environment can have positive long-term effects on your child’s behavior. For some advice on creating a sensory-friendly home, reducing your child’s anxiety, and improving your little one’s social skills, read on!
Create a Sensory-Friendly Home
As a parent to a child with ASD, it’s important to create a sensory-friendly living environment for your little one — whether that means moving into a new home or modifying your existing property. Autisable points out that it can help you to build a new house that caters to your child’s disabilities. A layout and facilities that ensure sensory comfort also ensure your child feels at ease and supported.
Other ways to create a sensory-friendly home for your child with autism include:
- Converting a spare bedroom into a cool-down room for your little one. Secure all room windows, keep furniture to a minimum, and keep soft toys and relaxing music readily available for your child.
- Modify the colors throughout your home. Find out which colors tend to calm your child and improve his or her mood, and incorporate these colors throughout the home — especially in your little one’s bedroom and study and play areas.
- Experiment with different lighting. While it’s best to avoid fluorescent lighting if you have a child with autism, you may need to experiment with different lighting sources in order to find the best option for your little one.
Explore the Anxiety-Relieving Benefits of CBD
If your child suffers from anxiety and/or chronic pain, cannabidiol (also known as CBD) could be worth exploring. Studies show that CBD helps to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, and other medical conditions — and it can also help to improve the behavior, communication skills, and stress levels of children with autism. As such, many parents are experimenting with CBD as a natural treatment for their child’s ASD. Before trying CBD for yourself, however, it’s important to determine whether cannabidiol could negatively interact with any prescription medications your child takes.
If you decide to give cannabidiol a try, ask your child’s therapist or physician for some product recommendations — and compare your different options to find the right CBD product for your little one. Cannabidiol-infused honey sticks could be a great option for your child, as many children struggle with the texture and taste of CBD oil products. Honey sticks, however, can be consumed as is, spread onto toast, or even drizzled over ice cream.
Play Games to Improve Social Skills
In addition to creating a sensory-friendly home and experimenting with CBD products, certain games and activities can help to improve your child’s social skills. According to National Autism Resources, several of these games include the following:
- How Rude! In a Jar
- The Sentence Building Game
- The Original Dinner Games
- The Empathy Game
By incorporating these games and activities into your child’s routine, you’ll help your little one to overcome social obstacles — and you’ll have some fun as a family in a calm, supportive environment.
The Bottom Line
While there’s no cure for ASD, parents can help their children to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives by providing their kids with a safe, loving, and sensory-friendly home — and working with them to improve their behavior, socialization, and communication skills. However, parents shouldn’t abandon their own physical, mental, and emotional needs when caring for a child with autism. Parent support groups are available on- and- offline, and many are led by peers, professional organizations, or can be found within the Facebook community.
With so many wonderful resources available to children with ASD and their parents, no family needs to navigate an autism diagnosis on their own. Ensure your home is sensory-friendly, look into appropriate supplements, and spend some time engaged in games and activities. Between the resources available and some minor lifestyle adjustments, you can ensure a better quality of life for your whole family.