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Published on July 31, 2023

Understanding How to Teach Independence to an Autistic Individual

As parents, we want the best for our children, and when it comes to parenting autistic children, we have to think in the forward direction about how their autism will look and affect them when they are getting older.

This aspect perfectly explains why parents are encouraged to diagnose their kid’s spectrum level as soon as possible. You can find out more about autism at https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/ and learn interesting facts about autism.

The sooner you intervene, the quicker you can help your autistic kids develop the mandatory social skills that will help them thrive in their later years.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a parent or a teacher; you will naturally want the best for your autistic child, which is also enough motivation to do your best to teach them strong independence skills.

Assess Your Child

Before you can start to teach your autistic child crucial social skills, you will want to become an expert on your child’s behavior first. You will want to understand how your autistic child is different from the other kids who are on the spectrum.

You will also want to learn your child’s triggers and become the ultimate expert of your child. You will want to fully understand the things that trigger your child and cause disruptive behaviors. You will also want to understand the things that can help you elicit a positive response from your autistic child.

Assess the things that your autistic child finds calming, triggering, enjoyable, and uncomfortable. It is important to mention here that you will want to get educated about autism, but you will also want to understand that no two autistic children are alike.

After you have learned everything about autism, you will want to become an expert on your child’s behavior. You will want to understand certain things’ effects on your child. By doing so, you will be so much better at troubleshooting behavioral problems, and you will also be able to successfully prevent difficult situations from unfolding in the first place.

Parenting an autistic child can be very challenging; however, you will want to know that you are not alone. At least one out of fifty-four children in the USA is autistic, which is why you can always join the community of other parents with autistic children and exchange ideas on how to help autistic children develop their abilities.

Visual Learning

Of course, you will want to start with small baby steps for teaching your autistic child about how to be more independent. That said, the best way to do this is with the help of visual support that you can use to effectively break down the mandatory steps for any task.

You can print and paste the essential steps for any task on a strip that you can then hang up at a place where it is readily accessible and viewable. The autistic person can then use the visual support for reference whenever they feel the need.

You can use visual support for any daily task that autistic children or individuals might find challenging, including the tasks of washing hands, brushing teeth, using the toilet, and getting dressed.

For individuals on the spectrum, you can use visual strips for other tasks that will help them become more independent in life, such as doing household chores, dishes, and laundry. Believe us when we tell you that visual support can make the life of autistic people so much easier.

Integrate Time

You can integrate the concept of time into the autistic children’s routine to teach them about how to be more independent. It is essential to mention here that autistic children love routines, which is why you can leverage them and train them to become independent individuals.

You have a wide range of options to choose from when teaching autistic children about the concept of time. For instance, you could use a sand timer or a traditional clock to enable autistic children to assess any activity’s beginning and ending at whatever timer your autistic child chooses, you can use the time start and end limits to teach them about the importance of time and when it is time to complete a task and start another task. This way, your autistic child will stick to a routine and complete their tasks within a timeframe, including many activities in their daily routines.

It is important to mention that you will initially want to take baby steps. Instead of overwhelming your autistic child with the tasks that they need to learn to become more independent, you will want to be patient and start small while building on success.

You will also have to be ready to deal with potential setbacks when teaching new skills to your autistic child. Nonetheless, as a parent and a primary caregiver, you will want to understand that independence is a step-by-step process, which means that as the child keeps growing, they will be learning new skills on the go.

You might be surprised to know the amount of skills that an autistic child can learn – you never know, your autistic child might surprise you every other week with a new skill of independence.

The Takeaway

As a parent of an autistic child, you will want to start with the treatment right away. You will want to start with educating yourself about autism first, and then you will want to get a professional’s opinion on where your child is on the spectrum.

If you truly want your autistic child to become independent, you will want to start their treatment immediately. As soon as you sense that something is different about your child, you will want to take him to the doctor so that they can determine the level of autism.

Don’t make the mistake that many parents do of believing that autism is a condition that your child will outgrow. Remember the aspect that the earlier the autistic child will get help, the greater their chance of treatment and successfully integrating in society in their later years.

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