For most young couples with an autistic child, one of the most difficult tasks is to keep the child motivated. The language barrier makes it difficult for couples to communicate with the child. Although some of them are highly intellectual, others are slower. With these cases, you can use these four methods to train and motivate your autistic child.
- Provide varied encounters. It has been known by many studies that autistic children who are more exposed to new tasks, toys, stories, etc. become more intellectual and more behaved. It is said that these children love to explore something new. When they are presented with one, they tend to absorb as much information as they can from it. The effects of this variation strategy have also shown improvement in communication skills. By being able to communicate with ease, an autistic child becomes more expressive and more understood. This results to a more stable behavioral pattern.
- Provide desirable stimuli. A stimulus is anything that provokes action. To be able to provide a desirable stimulus for the autistic child, you must determine first what is desirable to the child. It must be the child who chooses the stimuli and no one else. Some of these children cannot effectively communicate what they want, which frustrates the parents and the child. It would be wise to record wanted stimuli and their corresponding signal or picture that has been used to effectively communicate it.
- Return positive reinforcement. Some experts believe that reinforcement should only be provided when the child makes the right action. However, more recent developments have shown that the more reinforcement you provide for the child, the faster they learn to communicate. However, this strategy will require more attention from the parents since they will have to be consistent with their responses. The more consistent they are the lesser confusing it is for the child.
- Encourage different stages of play. The stages of play are important in the development of all children although their progression with autistic children is slower. First, you have to assist your child with solitary play. By showing to the child that there are certain objects that he can move around on his own, the child develops the crudest form of independence. This will allow him to explore new things then new ideas as he grows older.
The next stage is parallel play. When a child plays along side another child but does not exactly interact with the other, he begins to perceive the existence of other things and other people. This means that he is exercising his perception of other things outside his circle.
Another stage is the associative play. Play at this stage develops into a rough form of social interaction. By engaging the child in this new environment, he begins to perceive a structure that is not tangible. Making an autistic child see this structure is one of the most difficult tasks. You have to provide positive reinforcement as much as you can to help the child develop a social perception.
The last stage of play is cooperative play. It is at this stage that the child may have developed a stronger perception of how society works. He will be able to integrate socially acceptable behaviors with his actions.
Using these four basic principles, hopefully you will be able to motivate your child properly.