How can we support our son or daughter with autism at home?
As parents, we can follow a series of strategies in the family environment that make our home an accessible, safe and understandable space for our child.
1) First of all, we need to use an agenda and/or visual panel to anticipate daily routines. Keeping in mind that it must be adjusted to the specific needs of each person, we can use: real objects, images, pictograms, words, or drawn agendas. We should start with key routines, known activities (waking up, breakfast, bedtime) and we will add new activities as time goes by and new needs are created. Routines can be daily, weekly or monthly.
2) Delineate home spaces by routines/activities. Order and structure are very important to help and teach people with autism at home. A specific space for each activity. Visual signaling is very important and can be of great help.
3) We have to prepare the environment. Structure the place where the routine is performed, considering motor, sensorial and communicative aspects.
4) We can establish a calm corner. Establish a corner of the house, where there are not many stimuli and can go to relax in times of stress or nervousness. Set the atmosphere of the place to help him to return to calm, dim lights, relaxing music or silence, offer some object to help him to de-stress and give him the necessary time to regulate himself and help him to feel better.
5) Leisure time. We should take advantage of leisure time to work with simple games. Adapt this schedule, both in its format and content, to the age and level of abstraction of the person.
6) New activities or routines. Introduce new activities in the timetable or visual agenda, thus helping to make it more flexible and introduce new routines.