How To Support an Autistic Person

There are a lot of ways you can help a loved one who is on the spectrum.If the person is a family member, you can help create a comfortable home environment.

Step 1: The person on the spectrum can feel relaxed.

Quiet places can help people on the spectrum stay calm.If they are looking for a place to sit, suggest one with minimal distraction.If you face away from a noisy kitchen, you should move conversations to quiet places.

Step 2: It’s time to make a schedule.

Changes in day-to-day life can be hard for people on the spectrum.Their sense of stability can be supported by routines.The whole day can be thrown off when the routines are changed.Help them create a schedule.Time slots can be used to plan out the day.A visual calendar is important.It can be placed in a wall in the family room.The calendar can look friendlier with illustrations.

Step 3: Give your loved one plenty of warning so that they can adjust to schedule changes.

If you can plan the event with your loved one in mind, they will be prepared for the change.Discuss this event with your loved one ahead of time.They will be prepared even if they don’t like their schedule being changed.Try to place activities at certain times.If they have math meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00, plan something else.They will always have some sort of activity at the time.

Step 4: It’s a good idea to schedule downtime after a taxing event.

A person with an intellectual disability is more likely to feel tired after a busy day.Quiet activities will help them stay balanced.Your idea of relaxation may not match theirs.Try to schedule something positive after a schedule change.Allow your son to have time until supper after a doctor’s appointment.

Step 5: Determine which stimuli make you feel uncomfortable.

Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurological disorder in which sensory input that feels normal to other people may feel painful to the individual.Understand that these sensitivities can cause real distress.Tell your loved one about the stimuli.If you notice what makes you uncomfortable, ask.They might be able to give you clues.Try to find ways around the issues.If your teenage sister can’t handle the sharp taste of toothpaste, you can help her pick out a milder flavor.The store has children’s bubble gum.

Step 6: Make sure that any therapies are safe.

ABA can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder if it is done wrong.Some therapies are designed to break the patient’s will.This can be very damaging.Do not use experimental or compliance-based therapy.The person on the spectrum should be able to say no and take breaks.Therapy shouldn’t involve crying, screaming, or pleading for help.If you think a therapy is frightening or painful, stop it.If you are not an adult, report it to the authorities.

Step 7: They enter into their daily lives.

Incorporating exercise can provide an outlet for excess energy, introduce them to sensory stimuli in a safe and controllable way, and improve their mood and sense of security.Stick with the activity they like.People on the spectrum may do better in sports.Regular walks can be good for a loved one.

Step 8: Special interests should be encouraged.

Special interests can offer a refuge to people with special needs, develop important skills, and possibly lead to a satisfying hobby or career.It encourages the person to be themselves.Discuss their interest with toys related to it.Suggest that they join clubs and activities related to the interest, since socializing may be less threatening if they like the conversation topic.

Step 9: You can see patterns in meltdowns.

It is possible to identify a potentially overwhelming situation if you know your loved one’s triggers.Keep a record of the meltdowns to help prevent them in the future.A restaurant can be very chaotic for a child.Sometimes removing them from the environment is enough to help them relax.

Step 10: There are warning signs of a meltdown.

The best way to prevent meltdowns is prevention.There are ways to know when a meltdown is about to happen.Not being able to understand or communicate is witnessing injustice.

Step 11: Intervene quickly on behalf of a person with special needs.

It’s possible that your loved one isn’t aware of how much stress is building up.Ask what is bothering them and remove any stressors.They should be taken outside for a break.Get them away from crowds.Don’t place demands on them.If other people are doing it, ask them to stop.

Step 12: The requested accommodations should be made immediately.

If a person on the spectrum asks for something to change, it’s probably causing them pain or distress because they’re used to being told their needs are excessive.Don’t hold their needs hostage.Assume that it is urgent even if they don’t use their words.When they aren’t on the verge of tears, you can coach them on proper delivery.

Step 13: Take them to a calm place.

Bring them outdoors or lead them to their calming down corner.They will be able to relax where they aren’t surrounded by people.

Step 14: Be patient and understanding.

Don’t blame them or shout at them.Making them feel worse about losing control will only make it harder to calm down.Don’t look at people.If you want the person to be less public, ask them to stop it.

Step 15: It’s a good idea to encourage safe stimming.

Stimming can be very calming for people on the spectrum.There are examples of rocking, hand flapping, and jumping.If you have a rocking chair, bring their favorite stim toys and a weighted blanket.They like to use a stim for self-calming.Do you want to flap your arms?If anyone else objects to the person’s self-calming efforts, use your words or a sharp stare to let them know that this is unacceptable.

Step 16: After your loved one calms down, find out what happened.

Encourage a constructive conversation.The focus should be on the triggering events.It is possible to avoid similar situations in the future.If a crowded store makes your daughter cry, try to plan the trip when the store will be less crowded, bring earplugs and stim toys, or let them stay at home.Suggest to your parents that they not watch the news at night, and help your brother with relaxation exercises, if news of a violent attack triggered a meltdown in his brother.

Step 17: Communication may be difficult.

While non-autistic body language can be understood by people of all ages, autistic people may not always understand what an expression or gesture means.Don’t expect eye contact.People with disabilities pay attention better when they don’t have to look at people’s eyes.There will be unusual movements.Know what your loved one’s baseline is and what their unique body language means.

Step 18: Tone and body language should not be stressed.

A person with an intellectual disability may not produce body language that matches the way she is feeling.This is also the case with tone.It is important to remind yourself not to be offended by rude body language that is directed at you because of this.Your loved one’s tone may seem rude, but they may be in a great mood.The stims may offer clues.If a boy only flaps his hands when he is happy, this is a sign that nothing is wrong.It may not be your fault if they are upset.They may have been put on edge by a barking dog.

Step 19: Auditory processing can be an issue.

It may be hard for the brain of a person with an intellectual disability to quickly translate spoken words to their meanings.Measure their reaction to instructions.She may require more processing time before responding, or they may need written instructions.They may need written and illustrated lists as well.Give them time to think.They might be slower to respond.They may be better at reading and writing.

Step 20: To communicate in a calm space.

A lot of noise can make it hard for a loved one to communicate.Your loved one may become stressed and overwhelmed in places where multiple people are talking.In calm environments, communicate with them.If a room is crowded, move somewhere else.If you can’t move, try using AAC.Sign language, picture charts, or typing.

Step 21: Focus training can be used to improve social skills.

Focus training can help your loved one develop strategies for interacting with other people.People are taught how to understand thoughts and feelings.Focus training can be done in an individual session or in a group setting.Strategies for emotional regulation, conversation skills, problem solving, and friendship skills will be developed by your loved one during the therapy.RDI is a popular form.Some social skills groups don’t teach useful skills.If your gay teen’s social skills group focuses on Heteronormativity, this is not helpful.

Step 22: There are calming techniques that you can teach.

According to the “Intense World” theory of autism, the world can quickly become frightening or overwhelming to a person with the condition.Taking a break with music or singing is one of the exercises that may include.

Step 23: Asking for help will prevent meltdowns.

Phrases such as “I need a break, please” or “may I go to my corner?”It can be useful.It is easier to avoid meltdowns if your loved one can identify their owntrigger and ask for help in taking action.Immediately honor the request to reinforce this behavior.Thank them if they are just learning how to speak up.I would like to thank you for letting me know that the loud noise hurt your ears.You can wait outside with your brother while I check out.

Step 24: Children can be taught about emotions with flash cards, books, and movies.

It’s possible for fictional examples to help people understand how others feel.It makes it easier for people with special needs to analyze emotion.Try to teach the child basic expressions with flash cards.How do you feel about this character right now?During movies or books.If the person isn’t sure, offer suggestions.Do you think it was a good idea for her to do that?No?What is a good idea?My Little Pony is a show that is fun and educational.

Step 25: Social goals should be realistic.

It’s all right to know that your loved one is never going to be the life of the party.They might want to make two close friends, or have someone to play with at recess.Tailor social skills to their needs.

Step 26: A child should be told about their special interests.

When a child is passionate about their interests, they may not always notice that their partner wants to change the subject, or that they are monopolizing the conversation.Ask questions to engage others and teach your child how to do so.When monologuing is a good idea, listen and tell whether someone is interested.When someone wants to learn about something.

Step 27: Good social skills can be modeled.

You are a role model for the autistic person because they are constantly learning and growing.They will take after you if you don’t want them to behave.Listen to the person and ask questions.If you are tired or frustrated, act the way you would like the person to act.If need be, take a break.It’s okay!Show compassion.You wouldn’t do something to a non-autistic person.They should be treated as valid and meaningful.

Step 28: Praise immediately.

Lower self-esteem may be a result of the higher risk of anxiety and depression for people on the spectrum.They can boost their self-esteem by acknowledging their good qualities.Make it clear that you are proud of them.Praise can come in the form of kind words, hugs, time spent together, or extra free time.Praise is good, but don’t treat it as an ultimate goal.If a person becomes dependent on praise, they may be unable to set boundaries.

Step 29: It’s a good idea to teach self-advocacy skills.

People on the spectrum need to learn how to say no when they don’t want something.They are at a higher risk of being abused.Allow them to refuse.I don’t want that sweater.It hurts!They expressed their needs.Thanks for letting me know that the music is loud.I will turn it down immediately.They should be given choices and encouraged to think.They can’t say no to compliance therapies.Listen when your loved one says no.What is wrong?Is it possible to strike a bargain that they are happy with if something unavoidable?Ignore a “no” in important cases of health or safety.Teens and adults may gain skills through self-advocacy groups.If they are sensitive, be careful about introducing them to such groups since the issues of hatred, abusive therapy, and torture may disrupt their sleep.

Step 30: It’s important to recognize that there is a very complex spectrum of autism.

There are a lot of aspects that vary from person to person.Communication and social skills can be difficult for people with a disability.Specific symptoms can be different.It is not a linear spectrum from mild to severe.It impacts a lot of different areas.For example, if your friend is funny and great at cheering people up, he has serious difficulty with self-care and sensory processing.A person with an intellectual disability can be strong in one area and weak in another.

Step 31: Take your loved one’s strengths and challenges into account.

Understanding your loved one’s symptoms is important.You can target those areas if you understand where the challenges are.Find out what strengths and challenges your loved one has.When choosing treatment options, all of these components are important.

Step 32: You should be knowledgeable about the disorder.

It’s good to know the general signs and what people think about it.Autistic-run organizations are usually good sources.Motor skills may be delayed Difficulty understanding and interacting with othersSpecial interests that are unusual in terms of focus and passion are over- or under-sensitivity to various stimuli.stimming is difficult with self care.

Step 33: Understand that each person’s goals are different.

One person on the spectrum might want to develop self-care skills to live on their own, while another would like to make friends.Some people might be fine with living in assisted living.It’s important that they are able to be happy, because your idea of the ideal lifestyle might differ from their idea.

Step 34: Accept them as they are.

Autistic people are not like other people.Don’t say “I’ll finally be happy when my loved one _____”, practice being happy now, and embark on your journey together.Show them love so they can love themselves.