Feb 7, 2024 1:09:14 PM

Autism and Consistency - simple success framework

Autism and Consistency - simple success framework - featured image

Anyone who has a child who has been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder understands that regular, consistent care is needed.

There are varying degrees of the type of care, and what length of time is needed for management and improvement.

From our experience, for the type of care, the most fundamental principle is that it must be mainly guidance oriented. What that means is the child will best develop and improve their brain and overall wellbeing through guidance-based approaches vs mainly discipline based approaches. This is not to be confused with ‘loose care’ or ‘non-directive care’. It is simply the informed awareness that the instructor has (and has been trained for) to guide through difficulties and improve capacity of the child to try new things, explore repetition successfully and seek further help from the instructor.

We have seen successes with this approach through our various motor skill and physical programs for Autistic individuals over the years.

Along with guidance as a key principle of care, the effort must be consistent. Obviously, each session and day is not the same for any person. That being said, the programming and effort has a consistency that can be flexible in session depending on the behaviours and also be dependable over time. Time is the one gift we have when intervening for any challenge. Taking the opportunity for time and giving a chance to make the effort, always provides some successes!

Here are 3 key elements that contribute to consistency:

  1. Expectations are the same each session. If behaviours and emotions are more challenging, the only change needed is to expand guidance ability and create opportunities for further trust and compassion.
  2. Short length programs or trial attempts do not elicit success for the client. Typically, Autistic individuals are unaware that something is a “trial” and will only be able to successfully proceed with time and the informed efforts of the instructors. Even overcoming simple obstacles in the beginning (such as entering the room without crying) are big steps toward development. Taking them away eliminates the chance for consistency, whatever it may be.
  3. Accept mistakes and tough days. Acceptance! Working with Autistic individuals is never ‘easy’ and those that are trained and committed with the unique skills to do so, usually will make occasional mistakes. However, these should be opportunities to improve the relationship and further understand the individuals. Some of the best solutions have come from a session where the day was a tough one, and we all figured out how to best help!

Overtime, programs that are built for longer term success rather that short term gains only, will immeasurably help a child or adult improve.

This is consistency.

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