Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which is a complex disorder of the brain in a child has caused a lot of pain to most people across the world. The symptoms usually occur between two and three years of age in the affected child.
Children with this disability find it difficult to communicate effectively through verbal or non-verbal means. They equally find it difficult to interact socially, lack moral coordination and are fond of behaving in a repetitive manner.
Because of their inability to code or decode information, the tendency for them to be aggressive or emotional cannot be overemphasized. Managing these impaired children is therefore, a herculean task for their parents and teachers.
Some families around the world are facing problems occasioned by autistic children. Some homes have even been broken due to lack of proper management of this disability in a child and in some cases; their teachers have lost their jobs too for not being able to bring out the best in them.
Worried by this development, I want to encourage families that believe less in these special children or traumatized by autistic children, not to give up on them too soon.
My research revealed that a certain teacher in the U.S, Pat Hensly was very patient while teaching ASD students that he had to retire 27 years after teaching just a word “finished” and making them understanding what it means for something to be “finished”.
I therefore opine further, that early detection of autism in a child blended with love and care for that child can go a long way in putting smiles on the face of an autistic child. Teach the child by using few words, simple and very precise language. Any task you want to give to the child must be sequentially arranged.
With the advent of modern education, research has shown that most of these disabled children are very intelligent and that they excel even more in visual skills, music, mathematics and art works than some children without this deformity. No matter the irrational behavior of the child, be patient with him or her. Teach the child social skills.
Re-frame your question if the child gets blank by the question you asked and give him or her few but clearer choices to make. Do not use idiomatic expression or abusive words on the child.
Repeat instructions and set daily routine for the child. Help the child to identify when something is finished or when a different thing happens. Show the child an example of how you want a particular task to look like, using pictures to illustrate and pass your message accordingly.
Encourage the child more on computer-based knowledge and finally, avoid discriminating against an autistic child.
CONTRIBUTION FROM: JOY NWATEH-LEONARD