Autism advocate Temple Grandin was in Iowa recently to speak at a conference on autism. Grandin gave parents of children with autism the following tips:
- Devote lots of time and energy building up the skills your children need to succeed in life
- Get your children involved in social activities that match their interests so they are out in the real world learning to deal with real world challenges
- Don’t let computers and video games become a “crutch” – she recommends less time playing and more time engaging in activities that build up their social and communication skills
- Exercise is important
- Help older children get jobs and/or give them responsibility for certain tasks
- Don’t make excuses for your children’s behavior – help to correct it
- Remember to look past children’s difficulties and work on building up their strengths
Grandin also talked about medication and therapy. Because autism affects children differently, Grandin advises parents that they may need to try many different therapies to find the one(s) that works best for their children. Grandin acknowledged that some medications are helpful, but stated that high doses of medication to correct mild behavior problems are not acceptable.
More information about Temple Grandin is available on her website.