Managing Social Anxiety In Children With Autism
Practical advice to help autistic children with social anxiety.
By Rachel Evans
As a parent with an autistic child, you want to do everything you can to protect your child. We dont want to place our children in circumstances that scare them, however, setting your child up in a program or providing them with social activities can help them to learn how to manage their social anxieties.
First of all, when your child is diagnosed with autism, research the symptoms that are associated with this developmental disorder. The more information you have, the better you will be qualified to deal with certain situations. It will also help to join a support group for parents with autistic children. Youll find other parents will be willing to share their sources of information with you.
When you find a program for your child, youll want to make sure it is appropriately qualified to deal with your childs social anxiety. Every autistic child is different so youll want to make sure you are honest and up-front about the symptoms your child displays. Its also important to remember that the sooner you can get your child enrolled in a program, the more significant difference it can make in alleviating their social anxiety.
Your childs program should include playtime where they will be able to learn to make friends and how to interact with others. This play activity is very important to getting over their social anxiety. The activities should include something fun. For example, having children play an appropriate aged-level board game. This can help your child to learn how to interact with others.
Many children with autism have difficulty when it comes to understanding how another individual feels. This influences how they are able to interact with others. One way to help them with this is to use picture cards of characters with different facial expressions and posture. Once they understand how others may possibly feel by facial expressions and body language, they will more easily interact with others.
There are many things you can work on with your child to help them manage the social anxieties they face. Most children with autism simply lack the ability to react to change in a calm manner. Your child, if given the opportunity to become social, may simply wander off to be by themselves.
To be successful in helping your child, the most important thing you can do is to be patient with them. Do not force social activities on them, however, make sure they are available. Whether it is sitting down to dinner with the family or going over to a friends house to play, youll want to do what you can to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible. Talk to them and explain to them what is going to happen and where they are going. Try not to shove surprises on them, as youll need to prepare them for activities.
Your child with autism can learn, with time and patience, how to handle different social interactions with others. As their parent, your job is to assist them with managing their anxieties by providing them with plenty of opportunities in which to adjust to a variety of situations.