Handling change can be challenging for autistic children because they thrive with routines. Therapy helps many kids with autism, but adjusting to therapy can be difficult. This transitional period can be hard for kids and parents alike, so read here to learn about helping your child adjust to therapy at an autism center.
Use Visual Aids
Visual aids are fantastic tools therapists, teachers, and parents use to help autistic children adjust to schedules or life changes. They can improve your child’s understanding of the world around them. For example, install a large wall calendar at home so your child can view upcoming events and avoid surprises.
Create a countdown on the calendar for your child’s first day of therapy. Talk to them in the weeks leading up to therapy about what they’ll likely experience at the autism center, but emphasize that certain activities are not guaranteed.
Provide a Sneak Peak
Drive to the autism center, and let your child observe the building and surroundings. Schedule a meeting with their therapist so your child can meet them before the first official session. Let your child walk around, see the inside of the facility, locate the bathrooms, and meet other people they’ll encounter during therapy. A sneak peek will help them feel more comfortable during therapy at an autism center.
Talk with your child about their concerns and excitement after the sneak peek. This discussion will help you both feel more comfortable about the adjustment.
Give Your Child the Time They Need
A neurotypical or allistic child can easily adjust to new situations. Your autistic child will need more time to grow accustomed to new things. It could be something minor to you, such as driving a new route to school. Be patient with your child, and help them through the adjustment period. Listen to their concerns, and comfort your child when they ask for it.
Use Social Stories
If your child understands what will happen during therapy at an autism center, they may have an easier time adjusting to it, but that’s not a guarantee. Social stories are excellent tools to explain all the details. They contain simple sentences paired with photos that describe an event.
With these adjustment tools, your child may transition to therapy at an autism center relatively easily. If you’re still looking for the right center-based ABA therapy, consider South Shore Autism Center in Massachusetts. Contact us to find out how we can help your child thrive!