Parenting is, as any new or experienced parent knows, an incredibly rewarding experience. There’s something indescribably beautiful about investing your time, energy, and love into your child and successfully helping him or her grow up into a happy, healthy adult.
With this in mind, parents also know how exhausting and flat-out challenging parenting can be. While excited parents-to-be may attempt to anticipate the series of difficulties and rewarding moments ahead of them, every parent knows that there’s really nothing that prepares you for parenthood.
Naturally, parenting a child with autism or another developmental delay comes with its own unique set of challenges, obstacles, and of course, overwhelmingly rewarding moments filled with love and praise. Parents of a child with autism know that their experience differs from that of other parents, and that’s why it’s important to seek out books, articles, support groups, and other autism-related resources to ensure that they’re doing the best job possible.
The Place Where Your Puzzle Piece Fits: Our Autism Schools
At Puzzle Box Academy, we know that we’re providing a valuable service through our tight-knit network of autism schools in Brevard County. Our highly individualized, science-based approach leverages the Applied Behavior Analysis and Morningside Academy Curriculum to provide a comprehensive, academically enriching, educational experience for children with autism and other learners with developmental delays including ADHD.
We know the inherent challenges of successfully raising your child, and that’s why in today’s blog post, Puzzle Box Academy takes a look at five great pieces of advice for parents. Let’s take a look!
Five Helpful Tips For Parents
#1: In all that you do, focus on the positive.
Most people respond very well to positive reinforcement — after all, it’s only human nature. In this, it’s very important to always look out for opportunities to praise your child (when it is appropriate). When you take a moment to let your child know he or she did well, it will make both of you feel good. And that’s a good thing!
Make sure to be specific about what it is that you’re praising. This way, it’s more meaningful and genuine. Small, tangible rewards like a sticker or additional screentime are also great ways to solidifying the meaningfulness of positive reinforcement from your child’s perspective.
#2: Emphasize play by routinely incorporating activities that are fun.
It’s human nature to respond well to positive reinforcement, and it’s also human nature to enjoy playing and having fun. This point of advice is simple, but really effective! Autistic learners are more likely to be engaged and open when they’re enjoying themselves through creativity and play.
While those on the autism spectrum generally value structure and routine, incorporating fun, play-centric activities as a form of learning or education is a worthwhile measure. After all, we incorporate plenty of meaningful play at each of our Brevard County autism schools!
#3: Maintain consistency and keep a tight schedule.
To our last point, it’s essential to know that most children, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum generally like structure and routines. Consistency is a central tenet of the Applied Behavior Analysis, as learning new skills — and applying them to real-life situations — is easier and more effective when these skills are routinely put into action.
From a parental point of view, do whatever it takes to become as organized as possible. You’ll want to set a good example for your child in terms of living an intentional, consistent lifestyle, and that’s much easier when you’re organized. Use a daily planner, multiple calendars, organizational mobile apps, or other tools to assist you.
#4: Have your child accompany you on everyday errands whenever possible.
If taking your child around with you in public gives you anxiety due to a history of erratic and unpredictable behavior, know that you’ll find confidence over time by exposing your child to more public, real-world scenarios. From dropping off a package at the post office to shopping at a department store, it’s important to immerse your learner in regular, everyday situations. There’s a strong chance they’ll become more accustomed to the world around them, especially after repeated, continual exposure.
#5: Openly communicate and develop relationships with Puzzle Box staff.
At each Puzzle Box Academy location, our schools for children with autism and other developmental delays offer a wonderfully positive, encouraging, and academically challenging environment. However, we are not your normal private school. We find the highest levels of success and progress in each of our students when parents are engaged, active, and invested in the lives of their children.
This means that it is incredibly essential to maintain a strong, healthy relationship with teachers and staff at your Puzzle Box campus of choice. In this, you’ll need to attend parent-teacher conferences, after-school events, and be involved in other activities as they pertain to your child. Of course, we also find that parents are more than happy and willing to be as involved as possible out of the sheer love for their child!
Inquire About Our Brevard County Autism Schools Today: We’re Here For You, Parents!
With three convenient locations in Melbourne, Rockledge, and Palm Bay (and another location in Viera opening in August 2019!), our goal is to provide parents with children on the autism spectrum with a reliable, safe, and comprehensive autism resource. That’s our passion, and we carry great pride in what we do!
To learn more about our mission here at Puzzle Box Academy, or to get more information designed for parents, please contact our friendly team today.