There are some Coping Skills for Autism that can be helpful for people dealing with ASD to help them in daily life activities.
The coping strategies are helpful for autistic children and autistic adults alike for the self-management skills. Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder need relaxation techniques and calming strategies in stressful situations, especially in uncertain times like the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19.
All the caregivers and the individuals themselves need to be guided about self-care skills. These in turn can be helpful for autistic children and autistic adults in understanding and also help to cope better with their real-life problems.
This article is meant to educate the readers regarding some Coping Skills for Autism. These coping strategies can be helpful for an autistic individual in communication, reactions, self-control, social situations, etc.
Late diagnosis and coping strategies:
Late diagnosis of autism in individuals can be challenging in the sense that some of the intellectually able young adults develop some coping strategies that in turn result in hiding their symptoms from the doctors, peers, employers, and even from their family members.
A recent study indicates that many doctors in the UK are not confident that they are able to identify autism in many autistic adults because they develop compensatory techniques and strategies against the disorder and learn to manage their lives. This is one of the reasons behind less diagnosis of this disorder in autistic adults.
What are the best Coping Skills for Autism
While we dive into some of the best Coping Skills for Autism, these coping strategies can be helpful for all autistic people in certain situations and the overall situations of life.
Many resources like the National Autistic Society prove these calming activities to be beneficial for the cognitive processes to help cater to their emotions and deal with the normal day-to-day activities efficiently while managing their behavior and emotional responses.
1. Building and maintaining a routine:
Building and managing a routine can be one of the best strategies for autistic people to manage their behaviors and emotions. This skill can prove to be the best strategy and can provide increased comfort to autistic people.
Through research, it is noted that autistic people like routines and they get upset with the minor changes in them.
Children and many autistic adults expressed their feelings after applying this skill into their lives and expressed that this strategy helped them a lot.
This Coping Skills for Autism can be further broken down into the following areas:
Sleep and wake routines
Physical health is very much dependent upon sleep routines, and having a proper bedtime, waking time, and proper diet can really help autistic people.
Household chores routine
This strategy is recommended for autistic people for participation in well-structured household tasks. A task analysis can be used as a helping strategy by the parents so that the children don’t get overwhelmed by the stress.
Use of visual schedule
With the use of a visual routine, parents can really assist autistic people and help them participate in activities at home, and reduce anxiety problems.
The visual schedule can be helpful in the following ways:
Calendar posted on the refrigerator
A reminder of the therapist’s next visit
A list of errand sites and locations
2. Offering opportunities for expressing:
An autistic individual faces challenges in expressing and understanding other people’s emotions. The difficulties in this area must be catered to by the parents and peers and the person must be given support in school and at home to express these feelings.
You must consider providing a range of opportunities to these individuals for the expression of their feelings. Engage them in a talk and observe their behavior and emotional response with this Coping Skills for Autism.
3. Deep breathing:
Deep breathing can help an individual to improve his ability to manage symptoms related to emotions, stress, and anxiety problems. The difficulties for an individual within the autism spectrum can be best coped with using deep and relaxed breathing which can prove to give many neurophysiological benefits to calm autistic people.
There are three reliable breathing exercises for children within the autism spectrum:
This breathing exercise gives a tactical and visual cue to a child where he or she can visualize the breathing using effective techniques.
How to do it?
Make the child sit in a relaxed comfortable position and breathe through the nose with a feather in the palm of the hands. Teach the child to breathe slowly in and out so that the feather in the palm of hand does not fall away, remaining aware.
Repeat this exercise 3 times and you will see the effective results. This will reduce the symptoms of stress and support your child to manage anxiety.
This breathing exercise will engage the child and help to overcome anxiety and stress with your support.
How to do it?
Make your child sit in a comfortable position and put the hands around the mouth. Then, start inhaling from the nose and exhaling from the mouth while moving the hands away, remaining aware. Repeat this exercise three times.
This breathing exercise will engage the child and help to fight anxiety and stress-related problems, having difficulties and symptoms in this area.
How to do it?
Make your child lie on the floor and place a small animal bean bag on the stomach. Direct them to breathe in slowly through the nose and feel the bean bag rising up. Then, breathe out slowly through the mouth and notice the bean lowering down.
Repeat this exercise three times.
4. Practicing in a natural environment:
This skill can help an autistic individual to cope and deal with the social situations in real life where the person feels anxiety and needs support. The triggers that make a child feel anxious and coping with these behaviors in real-life problems helps a child to get prepared for the happening of these events in practical life.
Practicing these skills can help the individual in school, family, normal life, job interview, and other events that can create triggers at physical as well as emotional levels.
5. A healthy diet:
Many parents are now shifting towards the use of a healthy diet and proper nutrition plan for their autistic children. A good and healthy diet plan can help a child as well as an adult.
Dairy-free, casein-free, and gluten-free diets can be used to mitigate autism-related symptoms. These dietary changes can help an individual with autism in behaviors and emotional health. Other than that other people who have autism-related symptoms can also benefit from it. That makes this specific skill one of the best autism coping skills.
6. Support Groups:
Support groups can be one of the best effective autism coping skills that can help autistic people at high levels. These support groups can help individuals in physical as well as emotional control measures. The family can identify this broad range of resources to support their children.
While quoting an example, there are some locally available resources like:
These resources can provide you with good resources as well as emotional support from other individuals with autism.
7. Emotional & Behavioral Support:
This is another area where autism coping strategies can help individuals with autism as they experience problems in their emotions and behaviors.
There are other added issues with autism that are listed below:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Each diagnosis has behavioral problems of its own and it is important to manage all these symptoms to cope with autism. It is important to note that these issues might be mild, moderate, severe, or absent, which depends on the individual and varies from person to person.
The behavioral treatments offered by the behavioral treatment and emotional support can really help the individuals in both the skill-building and to manage symptoms.
What is Autism:
Autism is a complex and lifelong developmental disability that causes impairment in social situations, communication, self-regulation, and relationship building.
As per the estimates of the National Autistic Society, there are currently more than 1% of the world population is affected by autism.
Autism is usually diagnosed by doctors before the age of 3 as it generally starts to appear in early childhood, but a growing number of cases of autism diagnosis is also happening in young adults.
Wrapping Up Coping Skills for Autism
For an autistic individual, whether that person is an adult or child, the research-based strategies used to an individual with autism can help that person in school and family.
The individuals might get upset while they are failing and this is the job of the caregivers to talk with the individuals and calm down them throughout the process and encourage them while helping them with the autism coping skills.
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