Raising Awareness On Autism Acceptance
As April is World Autism Awareness month, we are excited to join in another opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary abilities and individuality of our children. Although all autistic children share common traits, autism is a spectrum disorder that affects children to different degrees, where just like every child they have their own individual interests, perceptions and areas of strength.
Autistic children progress differently due to their inherent struggle to communicate socially, therefore play is different for them too. It becomes important to embrace a more flexible and non-traditional way of playing, exploring new ways of introducing role-play, ‘make-believe’ and collaborating by sharing. There is immense potential that lies in their keen attention to detail, deep knowledge and intellect, strong memory and highly developed specific skills. Play creates natural learning opportunities that also act as a form of treatment, providing an excellent way to bond while teaching both physical and social skills.
Ways we show our children love through play include:
- Acceptance and understanding, engaging them with patience and lots of encouragement.
- Getting creative with different colours, textures, sights and sounds. Finding fun ways to introduce new things while still incorporating their predisposition to routine and repetition.
- Being a good role model, listening and encouraging them to ask questions, and in this way helping them practice communication skills and self-expression.
- Being attentive to their needs, keeping in mind the environment in which they play, and using calming activities in order to normalize sensory play and engage their senses regularly with activities such as baking and artwork.
As we said before, parenting can be messy! But it is also a privilege and a legacy to work at understanding our children’s individuality, celebrating them for their unique methodologies and providing a space where they feel accepted and understood, always.