After receiving your child’s autism diagnosis, your schedules are most likely full of therapies and professional care visits to work on developmental skills. Although it’s important that your child is in the hands of trust-worthy and accredited care, there are a few ways you can implement those same therapies into your daily home life.
Below are four common home therapies for your child with autism to help improve their developmental skills.
An enjoyable and common home therapy to practice with your child with autism is play therapy. Play therapy teaches your child a targeted skill through playing games. This can help build their social interaction skills and communication skills. The ultimate goal is that, in the long run, your child will be able to engage in activities and play more willingly.
Some children with autism may have trouble with their language or speech skills. While formal speech therapy requires specialized talent, there are ways parents and guardians can encourage their children to practice their communication and social skills. This type of therapy can help improve nonverbal forms of communication like gesturing, signing, or using electronic speaking devices, and it can help improve speaking skills.
Floortime Play Therapy
Floortime is another form of play therapy that involves one-on-one interaction. To participate, begin by subtly observing your child and copying their actions. After some time, add different toys or start a new (simple) conversation. The goal of floortime is to promote emotional engagement and interaction. This activity should be fun, lighthearted, and full of interesting discoveries.
When talking to your child, allow time for processing. It’s okay if there are a few seconds of silence between each word. Also, remember to keep the conversations simple and brief. You don’t want to overwhelm them.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
Although a minority of children with autism display aggressive behaviors, parent-child interaction therapy helps children learn how to de-escalate negative behaviors, this form of treatment also helps parents learn to communicate with their children effectively.
A professional therapist should coach the parent to help them discover the most effective and appropriate ways to interact with their child. This form of therapy isn’t only for children who display aggressive behaviors; it can also help parents navigate their new parenting journey.