It’s February, which we all know is the month of love. Everyone around us is talking about love, chocolates and Valentines Day. This is why it’s more important than ever to discuss love vs. hate concerning your Autism children.
Dr. Griffith says, “I feel like this our way of connecting with others….especially when it comes to children on the spectrum. They love very strongly and completely on the opposite, they hate really strongly.” Dr. Griffith shares some tips and tools to identify with can help Autism parents recognize the things their children love and hate, which help better improve their relationships with them.
Things they Love #1: Specific Interest
What’s that one topic area of interest or one thing your child absolutely loves to talk about? Play with? Be immersed with? Can spend their entire day life minute speaking about? When you find out what that one thing is, then that’s an easy way to have the conversation with them and create a relationship. Most kids on the spectrum will have an area that they love..whether this be dinosaurs or transportation. Dr. Griffith encourages you to find out what is that one thing your child absolutely loves and help this tighten your bond with your child.
Things they LOVE #2: Schedules
As Dr. Griffith discussed in a talk, schedules are crucial for children on the spectrum. Keeping your Au-mazing child on a schedule can make your life and their life so much smoother. Dr. Griffith says, “They know without knowing the time that 8 o’clock is when the bus comes. I don’t know if you ever noticed that even before they knew the time, they knew when the bus was coming, or its lunch time…they also know when it’s time to do it’s a specific activity they love. Way before Zachary knew the time, he was able to come and tell me ‘Mom it’s my break time’ or ‘Mom its tablet time’ because he used to learn tips and tricks to know when it was time. ”
Things they LOVE #3: SMILING
“Our kids connect a lot from smiling…from deep, deep down. they can connect through smiles..when I mean smiles I mean when you get together with them and you create that relationship and you get that smile from them, it lights up everything around you.”
Dr. Griffith encourages parents to “Find out how they smile, what makes them smiles, how many things can you do to get them to smile.”
Time spent with your Au-mazing child can mean the world to a child on the spectrum, so when you get that smile, it’s something that they love to do.
While Dr. Griffith does not like discussing hate, she emphasized that when kids hate, they really hate. This is why it’s important to recognize what your children love to hate, so this can improve your relationship as well.
Quick three things that they hate:
Love to hate #1: Something new. “If they are used to doing a specific routine, and you throw into something that is completely new… you’re going to see their face light up. Their immediate response may be negative. What you have to do is prepare them ahead of time that something new is going to happen or when something new happens, you can reassure them by saying it’s not so bad.”
“You’re moving that foreign concept of something new, something they’re not ready for or throws them off of whatever routine they have in their head to try to embrace by letting them know it’s not so bad”
Love to hate #2: Throwing them off schedule: “You’re going to get fits and reactions from them…something completely unexpected happen and you have no description of why it’s happening you going to get responses, crying, behaviors, reactions because here comes something off schedule.”
Love to hate #3: “The last thing they absolutely hate is a mean-spirited person. They don’t have to say much or do much, but if you have a mean-spirited person around a child with Autism. they feel it, they know it and they will respond to it. Even though you may think they’re always in their own world and you may think they’re not paying attention to what’s going on, when there’s a mean spirit person in the area they don’t like it and you will see responses in the child so pay attention to some of the things they don’t like. If you know some of the things they hate, and you can try and avoid that then you’re going to have easier ways of communication easier ways of connecting and an easier relationship with your child. So start being more aware”
Dr. Griffith encourages parents with children on the spectrum to learn what their children love and love to hate during this month of love so you can try to identify changes in the relationship that you have with your child.
Dr. “Ali” Alisha Griffith is an Autism Mom, Communication Expert (Audiologist and Speech Pathologist), Best Selling Author, IGNITE Coach and Transformational Speaker and Trainer. She provides coaching to teach individuals and caregivers how to become effective listeners, foster stronger relationships and get ignited and focused. Her best-selling book can be purchased by clicking here.