Parents of Autistic children often are afraid to let their child be a child. They can become so focused on their child’s treatment that they forget to just let them have fun. They are so focused on keeping the child safe that they can become too protective. The child’s life can become so full of doctors, or therapy appointments, that they rarely have time to just be a child. Of course it is very important to keep your child safe, but it is also important for them to have time to do things they like. Here are some ways you can make sure that your child is allowed to be a child.
1. Set aside a certain time each day for your Autistic child to do whatever they want to do. If there is a toy they like to play with or a game they like to play, let them do that. Everyone needs a break from doctors appointments. Give them time to play.
2. Schedule activities for your child that they enjoy. This could be a weekly trip to the park, or a meal at their favorite restaurant. Allow the child choose the activity. Perhaps they would enjoy spending some time Grandma, or Grandpa.
3. Allow them run and play like the other children. Kids like to run and play in the dirt and it will not hurt them. Let them be a child and just have some fun. Trying to keep them too sheltered will not help them. In fact, it will probably make them even more fearful of being around other children. If they show an interest in playing with the other children, by all means, let them. Let them get dirty. They will clean up with a bath.
4. Be careful not to teach your child to be a victim. They should never get the idea that they cannot have a good life Just because they are Autistic. They should be taught not to allow their condition stop them in life. Teach your Autistic child that they can do anything they set out to do.
5. Do not allow your child’s diagnosis of Autism to become an excuse. Be sure to teach your child that there are consequences if they do something wrong. Do not allow them get away with wrong behaviors simply because they are Autistic. Children learn pretty quickly that using their condition as an excuse can get them special treatment. This will not help them later on in life.
6. Give your Autistic child chores. Make sure the child is capable of doing the chores. This will help to give the child the sense of pride that comes with knowing that they can accomplish something. Reward them when they complete the chores. You can give them simple chores such as picking up their toys or making their bed.
7. Do not lower your own expectations for your Autistic child. Teach them to always do their best. Having a medical condition must not give them a reason to not try. They will never know their full potential if they do not try.
Children get dirty. They get hurt. Those things are all a part of being a child. Do your part and watch over them and protect them, but let them have some freedom. Even though your child has special needs, allow them the chance to be a child. They will be much happier.