How to Help Your Child with Autism Settle into A New Environment
When it comes to entering a new environment, it can really be a very big challenge for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who will feel extremely stressful and panic. If your child is also of this kind, how can you help him or her adapt to the new environment? What to do to make the integration faster, easier and without bad side effects? This is such a guide to help!
Why Children with Autism Are Difficult to Settle Into a New Environment?
Before heading to the discussion of how-tos, let's explore the reasons first. Why autistic children are difficult to settle into a new environment?
First, He is a child!
Every child has anxiety problems of the unknown, let alone children with autism, who usually take longer time to accept environments and others than ordinary children.
Second, autistic children normally have difficulties in communications and social interactions. And their original daily environment is relatively monotonous. It is hard for them to make big changes.
How to Help Children with Autism Adapt to Kindergarten
Though all kids have adaptation issues in kindergarten, the strategies to help ordinary children and children with autism should be different. The reason is that ordinary children can easily get comforted by playing with their peers, while that seldom happen in autistic children.
When entering an unfamiliar environment, especially leaving familiar parents, children with autism may can’t stop crying and even howling if no one else help him or her establish a relationship with the people or things around him.
Then, how to help?First, Tell Your Child Kindergarten is A Safe and Funny Place Before You Go
We need to help the child establish an awareness that kindergarten is not dangerous at all for him, and there are tons of amazing and interesting things waiting for them.Second, Tell the Teacher or Caregivers to Be Patient
It will be very common for a child with autism to cry, yell and even spit. Teachers must be tolerant enough of that.Then, Help Your Kids Familiar with the Environment In Person
You are almost the only one your kids trust in a new environment. Therefore, on the first and even the second day, take your kids to the kindergarten and stay with them as long time as you can. Introduce the teacher to your child at the same time, which will help your child have a better trust on his or her teacher and follow better instructions in the future!Bring His Favorite Toys to the Kindergarten
Having something your kid familiar with accompanying him or her may help a lot in a new environment. Small toys like bears are good. In addition, you can bring his mini trampoline to the school. The trampoline with net offers not only happy and safe jumping, but also a comfortable feel of being embraced by an item your child familiar with.
Finally, Tell Your Child The Exact Time That You Will Pick Him Up
Let your child know that it is only a short separation from you, or they may get confused and think you are going to leave him forever.
How to Help Children with Autism Adapt to Your New Home
You are going to move to a new home, maybe because you want a better living environment for your children, or maybe you prefer a new house. No matter why you do so, never forget to take your autistic child into account. Plan the move strategically!Tell Your Child with Autism about the New Home Over and Over Again
It may be a little hard for your child to understand what you are talking. However, never get tired of that. They need more pictures about the new home in their mind.Make His Everything in Place
Have his favorites in place before your children with autism arrive, the meltdown seldom comes. Assembling the swings, trampolines, dome climbers and others he loves in advance and decorate them just like their old home, so that he can settle into the new home easier.Get Your Kids Involved
Let your autistic kids decide which belongs to move and what to stay. And giving them choices to pack their items by themselves or not. If your kids are involved in the packing process, they won’t be shocked by the tons of boxes in the new home. And they can better cope with the moving works during the following days.
How to Help Children with Autism Adapt to Other Environments
In addition to kindergartens and new homes, there are other new environments like restaurant, etc. In an open environment like that, there will be more threats for children, such as loud noises, crowds, etc. Parents should make adequate preparations.First, Tell Your Child Where to Go
No matter where you are going to visit, giving your children a general understanding of the places they will go, people will be involved and also the end time of the activity. For example, if you plan to take your autistic children to the restaurant, you can show them some photos or videos of that restaurant in advance. If you plan to take your children on a plane, you can take them to a Scenic and Technology Museum first to get a glimpse of the process of taking the plane.Distract Their Attention Upon Arrival
Before departure, prepare some small items that can attract their attention, such as picture books, toys, and cartoons that children like. Upon arrival in the new environment, give them these items they are familiar with and like, which may help a lot.Take Them Away from the Environment If There is No Better Way
If all our methods failed to stop their cry and fair, you are suggested to take the child with autism away from the environment.
Autistic children are not scary or unlovable. They are just different. They usually need more time to learn everything, including the language, social skills, etc. It's never an easy job to help autistic children adapt to a new environment. Always be patient, positive and show more understanding on them. Then, let the time fix everything.