The word ‘autism’ or ADHD might have left you feeling devastated when you were first told about the diagnosis. For any parent, it can be too difficult to come to terms and accept that their child suffers from these behavioral disorders.
Also, the lack of awareness about autism and ADHD that make their management even more difficult.
The diagnosis of autism in your child may have left your confused, helpless and stressed, all at the same time.
Finding help and right advise is a huge challenge for most parents having a child with this disorder.
That is why; there is a need to design an application that will help you seek the right advice and connect with other patients who may have a lot to share with you.
But, before we learn how a mobile app can provide the right direction for your child’s future, let us first learn a few basics about Autism and why it requires special attention.
What is autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that affects the patient’s social behavior or the way a person communicates with others. It usually affects children below the age of 3 years.
Yes, this is the age when most children with autism are diagnosed with this condition. However, this doesn’t mean, autism begins at this stage!
It means its symptoms are evident at around the age of 3 when the parents start noticing their child behaves and interacts differently than others.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means patients with autism share a few common difficulties, yet this condition can affect them in different ways.
What is ADHD?
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder refers to a behavioral disorder. Children having trouble in paying attention and concentrating or those who find it hard to control his behavior could be suffering from ADHD.
A child suffering from ADHD exhibits inattention, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity, which can affect his school performance as well as the behavior at home.
The severity of ADHD and autism symptoms can vary among different children. They usually have problems in speaking, interacting with others, learning, and sharing affection.
Some children with autism and ADHD are able to lead a fairly independent life; while others are labeled a problem child and need a life-time support and even develop associated learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
These disorders primarily strike the intellectual and social skills of the child. Hence, it is understandable for the parents to feel concerned about the academic, personal, and social life of the child.
Addressing these concerns can help you take the right steps to secure your child’s future and ensure he or she can live a happy, successful and independent life!
Let us have a look at how we can help you manage the common signs of autism and help you overcome the challenges posed by this disorder.
Staying calm when child freaks out or has meltdowns
Staying calm when your child freaks out can be too difficult part of responsible parenting, especially when this happens outdoors or in the presence of friends, relatives, or colleagues.
You need to deal with such situations with patience. The need to communicate well and being able to deal with the hyperactive behavior of the child are undoubtedly the pillars of a long-term approach to managing ADHD and autism.
Daily struggles with patients
Children with autism spectrum tend to perceive the world as a mass of people, events, and places, which they cannot make sense of.
This can lead to considerable stress and anxiety!
Relating to these events, the surrounding people and different places can be harder for them. They may also lack the efficiency to take part in the everyday family and social life.
The three primary areas of difficulty for children with autism spectrum disorder, also called the ‘triad of impairments’ include:
• Difficulty with social imagination
• Difficulty with communication
• Difficulty with interaction
These factors can affect your child’s academic prospects and even prevent him from learning occupational skills.
Learning new ways to face these challenges can promote your child’s chances of adopting occupation and social skills successfully.
Dealing with outside people
Your child needs love and care just like any other child, perhaps a little bit more!
An autism child often finds it difficult to find a foothold in the social setting. And when this happens, it’s not just your child, but you as a parent too needs a backing and emotional support.
And you can receive an unconditional support from the fellow parents who can share their stories it you and even provide a way to deal with such unpleasant situations.
Awkward social interactions
In both autism children and adults, autism spectrum disorder can cause problems with your social skills, language, and speech, coupled with restricted interests and activities.
Their ability to communicate, form relationships, play, learn and explore may be disrupted.
The symptoms may vary in severity, exhibit in varying combinations and have different patterns of behavior. A basic social interaction may be difficult for your child resulting in the following symptoms:
• Inappropriate body language and gestures
• Avoiding eye contact
• Having facial expressions that do not match what he is saying
• Lack of interest in other people
• Unlikely to pursue social interaction or approach others
• Come across as detached or aloof
• Prefer to be alone
• Difficulty in understanding the reactions, and nonverbal cues of others
• Resistance to being touched
• Difficulty in making friends with the children of the same age
Making some changes in your child’s lifestyle can help control these symptoms in a safe and effective manner. I came across this app, PatientNextDoor, which I thought was useful for managing these issues affecting ADHD and autism children.
Anxieties and fears about your child’s future
Accepting that your child has autism can be too difficult especially since you know his future is at stake!
You may have a fear that your child may not be able to work, study, catch up with peers and have real friends.
You may have anxiety about what will happen after the caregiver is gone and that your child might get in trouble for not understanding the reality. The inability to differentiate between facts and fiction such as shooting bad guys in video games vs real life can put the child in bigger troubles!
These factors associated with autism can neither be ignored nor taken lightly.
Hopes and Dreams
Yes, that is what we aim for!
Having a child with autism doesn’t mean you think you have lost all hopes. Your child, like any other, does have the right to live a happy, normal life.
He has the right to be financially independent and learn the skills needed to take care of his own needs.
Your child can also have a family life, when he grows into an adult, and have children!
These are not just dreams, but a step towards the right direction. Your child can enjoy a good life and face all challenges posed by autism with the timely help for you.
PatientNextDoor allows you to take appropriates decisions related to developing your child’s social, and academic skills so that you can let these dreams turn not reality!
Noticing early autism signs and the diagnosis of autism in your child might have caused a great upheaval in your life.
Though researchers have made remarkable progress in unraveling the truths about this baffling disorder, the number of resources and information available to the parents are still limited.
The difficulties associated with being autistic are only made worse by the slow pace of research and clinical studies. So, you may also have several unanswered questions.
Hence, till the date, the medical field is successful at cracking the real picture of this disability and finds an effective treatment for it, let us all come together and work jointly for improving the lives of the children with the means available to us today.
PatientNextDoor provides you an opportunity to reach out to other parents having a child with autism. The application is aimed at allowing you to collaborate and share information and experience with others so that you can learn as much as possible about this disorder and give the best treatment to your child.
This will allow you to keep your child comfortable and minimize the effect of this illness on his future life.
You will also learn the different treatment modalities and some tips and strategies to control the symptoms of this disorder to ensure your child has a safe and secure future.
You, as a parent of an autistic child, have been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of a special child. And it’s our duty, as medical and technical professionals, to come together to extend support to you with the best tips and complement your efforts to manage this responsibility efficiently.
Join hands with PatientNextDoor to make the future of your child better!
Author : Dr. Jyothi Shenoy
Dr. Jyothi Shenoy is experienced in managing behavioral and learning disorders including Autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. She believes in treating the patients in a holistic manner. She aims at educating the patients about the illness and providing tips related to their lifestyle and diet to ensure a long-term relief from the disease and preventing its recurrence. She also has an expertise in treating acute and chronic diseases like obesity, IBS, asthma, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, allergies, cancer, infections, and skin diseases.
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