In the world today, it is quite common for a family to have more than one child with an autism spectrum disorder.
While caring for an autistic child may seem taxing and stressful, parenting multiple autistic kids has its unique set of challenges.
Despite the additional challenges, there are helpful strategies you can use to deal with multiple autistic kids.
For one, it is vital to identify the different sensory problems each autistic child may have.
Most autistic kids process sensory information in diverse ways and react to it differently.
Learning about your autistic children's individual sensory preferences and needs will help you know how best to support each child and provide a conducive environment.
Also, establishing routines and creating a structured system for each child can ease the stress of tending to multiple autistic children.
Moreso, creating schedules and routines are beneficial ways you can support your autistic children as it aids predictability and helps to reduce anxiety episodes and confusion.
In addition, dealing with multiple kids sometimes calls for disciplinary actions; however, for autistic kids, you have to adjust your disciplinary approach.
Rather than seizing their favorite toys, autistic children improve good behaviors and correct bad ones when given positive reinforcements.
Read on to gain more insights on strategies to deal with multiple autistic kids:
When dealing with multiple autistic kids, the first and most important thing to do is to identify their different sensory problems.
Each child with autism falls on a distinct spectrum of sensory processing and will have specific sensory needs, seeking tendencies, and avoidance tendencies.
To avoid exposing a child to certain triggers or sensory difficulties, you must identify their differences.
You can start by asking each child particular direct questions.
Some autistic children express their discomfort through tantrums or repetitive behaviors when they encounter a sensory overload, while others do not.
As a caregiver, it's your duty to take note of their response to sensory stimulations and ask questions about their sensory preferences if you're unsure.
Also, if you have two or more autistic children, it is crucial that they all understand each other's sensory difficulties.
This will help them avoid disputes and help them relate together without inconveniencing one another.
As a parent, having multiple autistic kids means adjusting to tending to each child differently.
With a clear understanding of their sensory needs and preferences, you must ensure to treat each child accordingly and incorporate specific sensory tools to help each child.
Generally, most children with autism don't do well with verbal communication.
They often find it difficult to express themselves, communicate with others, and do well in social interactions.
As a result, when trying to deal with multiple autistic kids, you have to double your effort in communicating and understanding them.
The first thing to note when trying to communicate with an autistic child is that they may not respond as you expect.
Not every time will be the right time to talk to an autistic child, so you may have to pick your moments.
It's best to wait for a quiet and calm moment to talk to them, and If verbal communication doesn't work, try writing or non-verbal expressions.
Also, an approach with a high tendency to work when engaging with an autistic child is discussing their interests.
You may find yourself having the same boring and repetitive conversations about a particular subject; however, it is an excellent opportunity to bond with each child individually.
In addition, autistic children experience various daily difficulties and challenges, affecting their self-esteem, confidence, relationship with people, and mental health.
Thus, it is essential to take time daily to interact with your autistic kids and provide comfort and support.
Many kids with autism are sensitive to unpredictability, change, and transitions.
Thus, one helpful strategy to deal with multiple autistic kids is to create a fixed routine they can follow to maintain a level of organization and structure.
To build a successful routine for your autistic kids, the first thing to do is to identify and outline important tasks each child has to get done daily.
This can include nap time, playtime, homework, chores, snack time, and so on.
After identifying the important tasks, the next thing is to break them into smaller steps to make them easier to understand.
You can organize these steps into a schedule using words or visual aids to serve as guidance.
Use alarms and timers to help your autistic child transition between tasks successfully.
Ensure the time you set is flexible and conducive for each child to perform their tasks.
As each child goes through their daily activities, ensure to provide positive reinforcements.
Use descriptive praises and offer compliments at the end of each task.
This gives them a sense of accomplishment which will, in turn, increase their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Dealing with many children can be tough and sometimes lead to frustration and anger.
Although it might seem tempting to take away certain privileges and scold your misbehaving child, autistic children don't respond well to traditional discipline techniques.
The best way to deal with multiple autistic kids during their rebellious phase is to use positive discipline techniques.
For one, you can correct negative behaviors by using positive reinforcement strategies.
Correct your misbehaving child with love and reward them when they take to corrections.
Ensure to provide rewards and positive feedback that relates to their positive behavior.
Also, teach your autistic kids self-calming techniques to control meltdowns and self-regulate.
It can be more difficult for autistic children to control themselves when they feel intense emotions.
Encourage them to practice deep breathing exercises or imagine pleasant things when they feel agitated.
In addition, when dealing with autistic children, you must understand that an inconducive environment or sensory difficulties can trigger negative behaviors.
So, ensure your autistic kids are in a safe, comfortable, and conducive environment at all times.
Sometimes, one child's autism diagnosis can be less taxing and demanding than the other.
This is because children with autism fall on varying sides of the spectrum and can have glaring differences.
As a parent or caregiver, you can successfully deal with multiple autistic kids by loving them equally and being fair.
Also, avoid comparing your kids with one another.
In truth, some kids can be easier to deal with than others.
While it's normal to feel favoritism occasionally, ensure you do not vocalize or show that favoritism.
Furthermore, every child has a unique interest, learning style, preference, strengths, and so on, and as they grow, they may showcase their individuality.
Thus, to successfully parent your autistic children, you must embrace their uniqueness and adjust your parenting approach accordingly.
In addition, when dealing with multiple autistic kids, you must create separate safe spaces.
Depending on each child's sensory sensitivities, preferences and personality, you want to create a safe space for them at home where they feel comfortable.
Separate play spaces also encourage alone time, which is healthy for kids as they grow.
In truth, dealing with multiple autistic kids can be challenging. It requires balancing different sensory needs, personalities, interests, tasks, and so on, which can make day-to-day living stressful.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage those stressful situations and provide support for your autistic children.
You can deal with multiple autistic kids by identifying the different sensory problems, establishing routines, being fair, adjusting your discipline strategies, and communicating with them.
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