Five Tips for Parents of ASD Children

(that apply to all kids)

Story by Amy Raley

1. Watch for good behavior and reward it.

Think about what you want your child to learn and praise examples of it.

2. Make your praise immediate, specific and clear.

Name the precise thing your child is doing right.

3. Reduce attention to problem behaviors (unless the behavior is dangerous).

Rather than correct the child, focus on your own activity and invite your child to join in.

4. Figure out what your child’s behavior is communicating.

Instead of trying to stop, reason with or punish, consider the reason the child is acting out. When things calm down, make a plan together to help things go better the next time.

5. Meet your child where she or he is.

Remember that ASD is brain-based. Your child is probably doing the best she or he can most of the time. Set up situations so that your child can learn.

Source: Elizabeth Akey, clinical assistant professor of psychological sciences

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