Parenting children with autism spectrum disorders (also known as ASD) can be challenging, both mentally and physically.
However, new strategies and technologies are being increasingly adopted by the healthcare community that can enable children with autism to lead more independent and satisfying lives.
These strategies have also played a role in helping parents care for their autistic kids and effectively manage their symptoms on a day-to-day basis.
New research in the fields of autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders has helped physicians and scientists discover a range of strategies and technologies that will ease the demands placed on the primary caretakers of autistic children.
These strategies will also enable the kids to get the guidance and reinforcement they need to overcome their issues with communication, novelty, and social interactions.
ASD and Behavioral Issues
Children and adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders often manifest behavioural issues that can prove hard for their caregivers to manage.
Such challenging and unhealthy behavioural patterns might include restrictive or repetitive actions, self-harm, yelling and general aggression, and an inability to socialize or communicate.
These behaviours could be triggered by a number of factors, including environmental stressors, lack of attention, and internal discomfort.
Being exposed to large crowds and noisy places can also cause children with ASD to lash out, physically as well as verbally.
Traditionally, parents and caregivers were told to constantly monitor children diagnosed with ASD in order to minimize problematic behaviour.
However, rapid advances in technology in recent years have resulted in the invention of a plethora of strategies and technologies that could help parents manage the behaviour of their autistic kids without increasing the level of stress and exhaustion in their own lives.
In most cases, the strategy of constant monitoring has been replaced by that of regular check-ins. A system of supervision and reward has also been developed to reinforce good behaviour through a system of positive feedback and encouragement.
Strategies and Technologies for Autism Management
Some of the innovative methods used by modern physicians to manage the symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders and provide effective aid for autism are as follows:
1. Check-Ins and Rewards
In recent years, paediatricians have been advising parents with autistic children to check-in with their kids periodically instead of providing them with constant, unceasing supervision.
Doctors believe that the check-ins should be random and should last only a few seconds.
If the child was behaving appropriately at the time when the parent happened to be checking in with them, then he or she should be given a small reward as a way to reinforce the positive behaviour.
Improvements caused by the positive reinforcement of healthy behaviour will help children interact socially with their peers and minimize the risk of self-harm in autistic kids, while also allowing the parents and caregivers to have some time to themselves in order to relax or accomplish other tasks.
2. Hyperbaric Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, also known as HBOT, is known to provide effective aid for autism by increasing the flow of oxygen in the bodies and brains of autistic children.
In order to receive hyperbaric therapy, the patient must enter a sealed vessel, which is sometimes called the hyperbaric chamber.
Inside this vessel, the patient can inhale 100 percent pure oxygen under higher than average atmospheric pressure levels.
The increased air pressure allows the oxygen to dissolve into the bodily fluids such as the plasma and the cerebrospinal fluid.
Consequently, the oxygen is carried to various parts of the body and the brain, reducing inflammation, preventing oxidative stress, and increasing the rate of angiogenesis.
These factors, taken together, can engender behavioural as well as physiological improvements in patients living with ASD.
3. Virtual Reality:
Those living with autism may sometimes perceive and understand the world differently from their neurotypical peers.
In such situations, virtual reality technology can provide much-needed aid to autism by allowing parents and caregivers to better understand the thought-process and instincts of their autistic child, thus improving communication between them.
Virtual reality (VR) films can be used to help neurotypical caregivers better understand how autistic children feel when they experience sensory overload.
Parents who viscerally understand why their child is behaving and reacting in a certain manner would be better equipped to create an environment in which the autistic kid can be comfortable and express himself better.
These are just some of the technologies and strategies that are being used more and more often by medical professionals to provide aid for autism which is meant to help both the patients and their caregivers.
For the best results, however, one must always use the right equipment to implement these strategies, preferably ones that have been manufactured by reputed companies or brands.