One of the greatest things a parent can do for their children, is to provide them with opportunities to try out as many activities as possible.
Through this, their children can find things they are good at, and learn new skills. It seems that from my observation, some parents do not think it necessary to take this view if their child has autism.
Whilst there are many parents that engage their autistic children in new and exciting activities, it is clear to me that many autistic children are spending too much time alone and isolated in front of a computer for hours on end. This is not a healthy state of affairs, and can lead to low mood.
It is challenging being the parent of an autistic child, especially whey they exhibit challenging behaviour in public places. But in my experience, the autistic children that have access to different activities seem happier than those that do not. I really believe that many children with autism could find an activity they could be really good at, thus boosting their confidence and self esteem. I know one young man with autism that developed a passion and talent for Kart racing after he was given the opportunity to try it out by his father. It makes him feel “free, happy and independent.”
Another autistic person I’ve known for some time, discovered they had a natural ability to paint and draw. Their work has been displayed in various art galleries across London. If a parent had not pushed her to try an art class, this talent may never have been discovered.
Engaging in new activities can be expensive and time consuming. But do your best. Your autistic child needs energetic and motivated parents. Be inventive, try them with art, singing, drama, dance, sport, photography. Give them the chance to discover a hidden talent. I was able to turn my hidden talent into a career that has spanned many years.
People with autism generally tend to isolate themselves. We do not always have the vision to realise there is more we can be doing with our lives. It feels safer not to go out, experience new challenges and meet new people. But unless autistic children are encouraged by parents, they will not have the opportunities to learn, grow and lead fulfilling lives.
Thanks for reading, Steve