Autism is a complex developmental disability that generally originates in childhood and influences an individual’s ability to communicate and interact. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control indicates that 1 in 68 children has been identified as adhering to the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The good news is that many Autistic teens still manage to lead happy and productive lives, especially if they are high-functioning; meaning that they display relatively mild autistic symptoms and are still able to successfully navigate their home and school environments.
As the parent of a high-functioning teen, you have the power to increase and enhance this success. Here’s how you can help a teen with high-functioning autism:
- Be there for your child. Chances are that your autistic teen is at times frustrated by the symptoms and effects of their condition. Whenever possible, you should make yourself available to your child, always listening to and addressing their problems.
- Work with your child to develop talents and activities that fall within their capabilities. If they happen to excel at writing, visual art, filmmaking, etc., then encourage them to express themselves (and even any frustrations related to their condition) through their talents; building their confidence and perhaps even a future career or lifelong hobby in the process.
- Develop strategies for success. The journey of the autistic teen is filled with peaks and valleys; so when one of these challenges arises, join your teen in navigating rough waters. Remind them of prior coping strategies that work, and inform them of ways in which you yourself have solved common life problems. If a particular coping mechanism failed to work, then analyze the reasons behind the failure—so that the next time, your teen can try something different.
- Set goals. Whether teens seek success in the classroom, in social circles, and even at home, their condition may make the attainment of these goals more difficult and complex; so to ease the process, you should work with your child to set realistic goals. Also help them set the course that will—hopefully, at least—lead in full to their ultimate success.
- Form a support system for your teen. Give your autistic teen-ager their own personal cheering squad; one that includes their doctors, their therapists, their dearest and closest friends, and you and yours—their family.
Seven Stars can help
As a residential treatment center and assessment program for teens struggling with neurodevelopmental disorder such as autism, Seven Stars can help your teen take the first steps towards a happier, healthier future.
For more information about Seven Stars, please call 844-601-1167.
Since 2003, Dr. Gordon Day has passionately helped young people with a wide range of family, emotional, social, neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Gordon’s mission has been to help people find their strengths and their own passion for living a full and rewarding life. He is particularly sensitive to the pressures, frustrations and disappointments that adolescents face that can sometimes cause them and their loved ones to want to withdraw and throw their hands up in despair.
Dr. Day knows that you really have to understand where a student is coming from and understand their patterns of strengths and needs. When we truly know an individual and their struggles, only then can we truly help.
Dr. Day has pioneered the use of outdoor therapy activities and outdoor living as a dynamic and effective therapeutic tool for learning, confidence building and skill building. His programs provide effective, supportive and encouraging environments that help students find their strengths and power.