How to Support Your Child with Autism: A Guide for Parents


Having children can be all sorts of stressful sometimes, but can become especially challenging and complicated when your child has a developmental issue like autism. Luckily, nowadays we have all sorts of therapies, special schools, and materials to help children with autism, but even then, being a parent means you cannot just clock out and let someone else take responsibility. As a parent, you are there for your children from the moment they are born and have to guide them through life and growing up, and when autism is a factor too, even with modern resources, it can still be incredibly difficult. With all this in mind, here is a little guide to help you on the path to nurturing and fostering your child to be the best version of themselves.

Do Not Wait

The best thing you can do as the parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder or related developmental delays is to begin treatment right away instead of waiting for a full diagnosis. There are any number of exercises and therapies you can begin with, like starting ABA therapy practices at home and getting help as soon as you suspect that something may be wrong or off. Do not wait to see if your kid will “outgrow” the issue or catch up later; do not even wait for an official diagnosis. The earlier a child with autism gets help, the greater and better their chance of treatment and therapy success, so early intervention is key here. This is a very effective way of speeding up your child’s development and reducing the symptoms of autism over the years. Sometimes we prefer to stay in ignorance because it is more comfortable than having to face the truth that we are afraid of, and that may be fine for small things like the ending of a horror movie or something of the sort, but when your child’s entire life and happiness are at stake, we need to be proactive, no matter how uncomfortable or frightening the situation may be.

Educate Yourself

Once you know your child has ASD, the first step is educating yourself about autism itself, doing research, reading up on what it is, viable therapies, behaviors, and so on. The more you know, the more equipped you will be to make informed decisions for your kid, instead of always watching others make decisions for them, even though you are the parent. Learn about treatment options, ask plenty of questions, and take part in all the treatment decisions. Become an expert on everything concerning your child; figure out what triggers their disruptive or challenging behaviors, and conversely, what elicits a positive, calming response. What do they find frightening or stressful? Enjoyable? Uncomfortable? If you are in tune with what affects your kid, you will be better at troubleshooting issues and preventing, or at least modifying, situations that can quickly become difficult.


Undoubtedly, one of the most important points in this whole guide is the complete and total acceptance of your child, with their quirks and all. Rather than fixating on how your autistic offspring are different from all the other children and what is “wrong” with them or what they are “missing,”  accept them.


Celebrate every success, no matter how small, enjoy their special quirks, and perhaps most importantly, stop comparing your child to other children. “Different” does not mean better or worse; it just means exactly that; different. Feeling unconditionally accepted and loved will help your child in more ways than you can count, perhaps more than anything else. This also means you should never give up. No one can predict what the course of autism is or will be; it is impossible, so do not jump to any conclusions about how harsh or difficult life may or may not be for your child. They will have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities, just like everyone else, so focus on the here and now.

Structure and Safety

You need to be consistent and stick to a schedule, as children with ASD tend to do their best when they have a highly structured routine or schedule, as they often have a hard time applying what they have learned in one setting, like at school or the therapist’s office, to other settings, like home. To reinforce their learning, one of the best things you can do is create consistency in their environment.


Find out what their therapist is teaching them, continue those techniques at home, and consider the possibility of having therapy take place in multiple places, which can help encourage your child to transfer what they have learned from one environment to another. Set up a schedule for them, with regular times for therapy, school, meals, and bedtime. Try to minimize disruptions to this routine, and if there is an unavoidable change to the schedule, like a vacation, prepare them for it in advance, so they are not “ambushed” by their routine being interrupted.


Reward your child’s good behavior, as positive reinforcement with autistic children can go a long way. Put in some effort to catch them doing something good, praise them when they learn a new skill or act appropriately while being very specific about why and what behavior they are being rewarded for. It is also advisable to look for other methods to reward them, like letting them play with a special or favorite toy, giving them a sticker, or something of that nature. Also, carve out a safety zone in your home for your child, where they can feel secure, relax, and be safe. This process will entail organizing and setting boundaries in ways they will understand, like visual cues, such as colored tape, or labeling certain items in the house with pictures or stickers, for example.

Raising a child with autism spectrum disorder brings about a unique set of challenges that can be frightening and overwhelming at first. The most important thing is to love them and accept them unconditionally; that is half the battle already won before you can move on to treatments and so on.

Amanda is the proud owner and head cook of her very own restaurant. She loves nothing more than experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and her food is always a big hit with customers. Amanda takes great pride in her work, and she always puts her heart into everything she does. She's a hard-working woman who has made it on her own, and she's an inspiration to all who know her.