Autism Hacks for Parents

10 Hacks for Home

  • Seek professional help first
  • Maintain a structured routine to help reduce stress; stress can trigger OCD
  • Keep kiddos hydrated and engage them in regular physical activity
  • Teach your child to practice Grace with themselves and others. Like scripts, acronyms are very helpful to individuals on the Spectrum – Give:  Respect, Admiration, Courtesy, and Empathy
  • Provide your child with a safe sensory space in the home that they can control – If space is at a premium, get creative, a tent on the bed or a closet will do 
  • Teach them to take time out to breathe deeply – 4 seconds in – 4 seconds hold – 4 seconds out
  • Provide your child with transition time and structure- be available to listen – consistently praise and reassure them. 
  • Remember trigger avoidance is not a cure, it is a temporary fix, don’t stop there. Teach your child the T.R.A.U.M.A. acronym to help them work through the Trauma –
    • Trigger Timeout: Give yourself a moment, 
    • Remove: Step away or distance yourself from the trigger, 
    • Accept your body’s response, 
    • Understand: You are responding to a past event – the physical response will pass 
    • Management Mindset: Recruit a friend or a sensory tool to help you tolerate triggers
    •  Advantage Action: Develop a plan to work through or around your trigger moments
  • Never Lead with Lack – Lead your child strengths first – Engage your child with positive questions about what things they enjoy and help them discover what they do well
  • Forceful parents find fault – Powerful parents see possibility – Choose Power

10 Hacks for School

  • Plan to meet with your child’s teacher or caregiver prior to enrollment to open the door to collaboration
  • Implement an IEP or 504 as soon as possible, ASD can be diagnosed as early as 24 months, early identification is key
  • Encourage your child to ask for help and self-advocate
  • Suggest your child ask a teacher to have lunch in their classroom to avoid a crowd
  • Advocate for seating in the front of the classroom (sometimes trigger avoidance is as easy as “Out of sight, out of mind”)
  • Create a Go-To plan for managing triggers and stressors at school 
  • Make sure you get your child to school on time and encourage them to follow the school schedule
  • Role play social interactions with your child, focusing on eye contact, and shared experiences
  • Document difficult days to assist with identifying triggers
  • Plan 10 minutes in every school day with you and your child for a recap of school events and listen carefully