our everyday life

Raising an Autistic Toddler

by Tina Truelove

Diagnosing a child with autism is not easy, but there are some early signs. A child who seemed to develop normally at first may begin to require repetitive routines, develop obsessions with objects, regress in communication and social skills and develop sensory issues. Parents who previously enjoyed watching their child grow and develop normally become confused and then they find themselves faced with a diagnosis they might not expect. Their child has autism.

Dealing With the Diagnosis

A boy with autism sings the national anthem.

Many parents experience fear, anxiety and shock upon learning their child has autism. They worry about how they will help their child grow and learn while dealing with a condition they know little about. They worry about making adjustments necessary for their child's well-being. They worry about being good parents, providing for their child, meeting their child's medical and social needs and how they will pay for various treatments. Parents of autistic toddlers worry about how their child will show love to them and whether their autistic toddler will one day live a normal life.

Responses from the General Public

The general public will often mistake autistic behaviors in toddlers for disciplinary issues.

Raising an autistic toddler means dealing with responses from the general public, and those responses can be negative. For example, a parent in the grocery store with an autistic toddler sitting in the child seat knows she might have to tolerate the child's autistic behaviors such as constantly jumping up and down in the seat, perhaps until the wheels on the cart leave the floor. Those around the parent might perceive her as someone who fails to properly discipline her child. The general public doesn't easily identify autistic behaviors in toddlers. Parents raising autistic toddlers often feel they must constantly explain and justify their child's behavior to others.

Daily Living with an Autistic Toddler

Many autistic toddlers can successfully attend preschool.

Families raising autistic children find that developing a routine and sticking with it helps them feel more successful with daily living. Parents recognize that their autistic child requires more patience and consistent instruction. Offering praise for a task well done is important. If the toddler attends a preschool, it is important for parents to choose a preschool and a teacher who is willing to learn about the needs of autistic toddlers. Good communication between the teacher and the parents is essential for the child's growth and development.

Financial and Social Help

Many private and non-private organization offer financial and social help for families dealing with autism.

Parents needing financial help while raising their autistic toddler might benefit from Give Forward. Parents can set up fundraising accounts so that people visiting the site can donate funds to help them finance their expenses. Autism Speaks is an organization devoted to children and families dealing with autism. The organization educates families about autism and the latest research information, government programs, private and non-private organizations that offer scholarship opportunities for families. It also offers assistance with insurance needs. Autism Society educates families and the general public about autism. Its goal is to improve lives and make sure families dealing with autism get the help they need.

About the Author

Tina Truelove began writing in 2010, contributing to various websites. She has a Georgia teaching certificate and holds a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education from North Georgia College & State University.

Photo Credits

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