Helping Your Child with Autism Thrive

When a child is placed in the arms of their parents, hopes and dreams for the child’s future begin to form. We want what is best for our children in all areas of life. As parents, we want to teach our children the skills they need in a supportive and nurturing environment with the hopes that they will not only learn and grow but also thrive.


When a child is diagnosed with autism, a parent may wonder: What’s next? What does this mean for my child? They may begin to question what they can incorporate into their child’s daily routine that will provide safety, structure, and guidance so that they can live their best life.

Never limit your expectations of your child’s abilities.

Elizabeth Redmon serves in a volunteer capacity as the president of the Autism Society of Dayton. She suggests that just because a parent thinks a task may be difficult for a child, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to give it a try.

By trying new things, parents will learn what works for their child. And, remember, just because something doesn’t work well the first time, that doesn’t mean it can’t be tried again at some point in the future.

“The child’s sensory processing may change over time, which means they may be able to tolerate things as they get older that they could not tolerate as a child,” Redmon says.

Create a set and consistent routine.

Not only is establishing a consistent routine important, but a visual reminder of the schedule can greatly benefit some children, as well.

“Some kids like having a visual calendar reminder of the day,” Redmon says. “This helps to take away some of the anxiety and stress. You can ask your child to help plan the calendar, or pick certain activities during playtime, or after school time, so they can control their own schedule if they are able to. Repetition is key, and repeatedly reminding a child of the schedule for the day is commonly a part of this. Routines, and being consistent with those routines, are important for a lot of our kids on the autism spectrum.”

Get help when needed.

Therapists, specialists, and medical professionals can all help your child learn the skills needed to thrive in their environment. Consider having a caregiver come in at different times during the month to help alleviate some of the workloads and give you a break. Put these appointments on the calendar to be sure your child is expecting these visits.

Take your child on errands with you.

For most parents, the idea of running errands with their children can seem less than appealing, and this can be especially true if your child has unpredictable behaviors. Don’t let this stop you from taking them out on occasion. Consider putting one or two outings a month on the calendar. You don’t have to do every grocery trip together, but allowing your child to come along on some will help them have a better understanding of what goes on in the world.

Connect with other families with children on the autism spectrum.

In our world of social media, connecting with families is easier than it ever has been. Consider joining a support group, or connecting with a group on Facebook or another social media platform.

Families of individuals on the autism spectrum of any age are always welcome to attend the monthly events that take place through the Autism Society of Dayton ( They ask that families email a request to register for each event.

Some examples of the events that families can participate in include bowling, skating, indoor swimming, basketball, flag football, a family picnic, a 5K Walk & Run in April, movie nights, visits to Get Air Trampoline Park and EnterTRAINment Junction, pizza and game nights, and more.

“These events are meant to promote activity and exercise, and social networking for families and the kids,” Redmon says. “They are almost always free events.”

Parents desire for their children to learn, grow, develop and thrive. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and resources available for parents to help equip their children and encourage them in their journey toward living their best life.

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