3 Tips for Living With Autism
3 Tips for Living With Autism
Living with autism is by no means easy, but there are some simple changes you can implement that can make a big difference. In 1994 one in 10,000 children were diagnosed with autism, while today studies put that number at around one in eighty-eight. With such a jump in the number of cases, more and more people are asking for advice and help in living with the condition. In the last 10 years there has been a huge increase in the amount of research and information available, making it easier than every to get solid advice that can help you or a loved one live with the disorder.
1. Be a Self-Advocate
Becoming a self-advocate can make living with autism a lot easier. For parents this means learning how to properly explain and communicate your autistic child’s educational, physical, and emotional needs to people they come in contact with. That includes caretakers, teachers, and even other children and their families. The more comfortable you become with talking about autism, the easier it will be for others to understand and adapt. As your child gets older, encourage him to start speaking up about his own needs and explaining things for himself. The more confidence an autistic person can build as a self-advocate, the easier daily life and independence will become.
2. Assess Food Allergies and Environmental Sensitivities
Eliminating problem foods and environmental intolerances can be a very effective way to make living with autism easier. Food allergies and sensitivities are incredibly common in autistic people, and may be the culprit for many symptoms of autism. Addressing and removing problem foods can significantly improvements overall health. Some of the most common food and environmental allergies include:
- Gluten –Sources include nearly all grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt. oats, and semolina.
- Casein – Sources include all animal milk products, anything with lactose, and even the wax on some fruits.
- Soy – Soy is not only found in products like soybeans and soy sauce, but is also present in nearly every processed or packaged food you can find.
- Corn – Corn is another allergen that is commonly found in nearly every packaged or processed food, often in the form of corn syrup.
- Heavy Metals – These can be found in sources of water, food, and in a number of products and can do serious harm to the proper function of human systems.
People living with autism should have their allergies evaluated by a medical professional to be certain of all factors to avoid. Studies have shown that special diets can have very positive effects in treating a number of symptoms in autistic people.
3. Build a Strong Social Network
A strong social support network is vital for the continued happiness and health of both people living with autism, and their families. It is important that you build a network of people who can help you with all different types of support, including emergencies. Four important areas to cover are:
- Social – This group includes friends, classmates, and colleagues who can help you with handling daily accomplishments and disappointments.
- Emotional – This group includes close friends and family members who can serve as trustworthy confidants. These people can help when you need someone to share feeling, concerns, and other emotional elements
- Informational – This group includes doctors, teachers, caregivers, therapists and other experts in the field that can give you advice on major decisions regarding treatment and care. This group can also include other parents of autistic children.
- Practical – This group includes anyone nearby that can aid you in a pinch for emergency situations that inevitably arise.
By having a dependable team of friends, family and experts at you and your autistic child’s disposal, you will be much better equipped to tackle any situation. A strong social network can make living with autism much easier.