7 Practical Tips to Raising A Child With Autism: Ultimate Guide

Raising a child with autism can present unique challenges and require specific strategies to support their development and well-being.

Alan Hollander
September 13, 2023

7 Practical Tips to Raising A Child With Autism: Ultimate Guide

Raising a child with autism can present unique challenges and require specific strategies to support their development and well-being.

7 Practical Tips in Raising a Child With Autism

Parenting is a challenging task, and it becomes even more daunting when your child has autism. Raising a child with autism comes with its unique set of challenges, but with the right strategies and techniques, it can be a rewarding experience. In this article, we will discuss seven practical tips to raising a child with autism.

1. Educate yourself about autism: The first step to raising a child with autism is to educate yourself about the condition. Learn about the signs and symptoms of autism, and the different ways it can affect your child's development. Understanding the condition will help you to develop empathy and patience towards your child.

2. Create a structured routine: Children with autism thrive in a structured routine, which helps them to feel secure and comfortable. Create a daily routine for your child, with specific times for meals, play, and rest. Stick to the routine as much as possible, and make sure your child knows what to expect.

3. Communicate effectively: Children with autism often struggle with communication, so it's essential to find ways to communicate effectively. Use clear and simple language, and avoid using metaphors or idioms. Use visual aids like pictures and diagrams to help your child understand what you're saying.

4. Encourage social interaction: Children with autism often struggle with social interaction, but it's important to encourage them to interact with others. Arrange playdates with other children, and encourage your child to participate in group activities like sports or music lessons. Teach your child social skills like taking turns and sharing.

5. Use positive reinforcement: Children with autism respond well to positive reinforcement, so it's essential to praise them for their achievements. Celebrate even small successes, such as learning a new word or completing a task. Use a reward system, such as a sticker chart, to encourage positive behavior.

6. Seek professional help: Raising a child with autism can be challenging, and it's important to seek professional help when needed. Consult a pediatrician or a child psychologist for advice on how to manage your child's behavior. Consider enrolling your child in therapy, such as speech or occupational therapy.

7. Take care of yourself: Raising a child with autism can be emotionally and physically draining, so it's important to take care of yourself. Make time for self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with friends. Join a support group for parents of children with autism to connect with others who understand what you're going through.

Connect With Other Parents of Children With Autism

Parenting a child with autism can be an isolating experience, but you're not alone. Joining a support group or online community can provide valuable resources and emotional support for parents of children with autism.

These groups offer a safe space to share your experiences, ask for advice, and connect with others who understand what you're going through. You can find local support groups through organizations like Autism Speaks or the Autism Society, or join online communities like Reddit's r/autism or Facebook's Autism Parents Group.

Connecting with other parents can help you feel less alone and more empowered to navigate your child's diagnosis.

Use Technology to Assist With Communication

In today's world, technology has made communication more accessible than ever before. For children with autism, there are various apps and devices that can help them communicate more effectively. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices like tablets or smartphones can help children express themselves when verbal language is challenging.

AAC apps like Proloquo2Go or TouchChat provide a visual interface with symbols and pictures that children can use to communicate their needs, wants, and feelings. These apps also allow parents and caregivers to customize the vocabulary and create personalized phrases and sentences that match their child's unique needs.

Besides AAC devices, assistive technology tools like speech-to-text software or text-to-speech applications can also be beneficial for children who struggle with reading or writing.

By using technology as an aid, children with autism can become more independent in their daily lives and better communicate their thoughts and feelings to others around them.

Create a Safe Space at Home

Children with autism often feel overwhelmed by sensory input, so it's important to create a calm and safe space for them at home. This can be achieved by creating a sensory-friendly environment that reduces sensory overload. Here are some tips on how to create a safe space for your child:

  • Choose a quiet and comfortable room: Pick a room in your house that is quiet and comfortable, away from noise and distractions. It could be your child's bedroom or a dedicated sensory room.
  • Control the lighting: Harsh lighting can be overwhelming for children with autism, so consider using dimmer switches or soft lighting. You can also use blackout curtains to block out sunlight if your child is sensitive to bright light.
  • Reduce noise levels: Children with autism may have difficulty filtering out background noise, so it's essential to reduce noise levels in their safe space. You can use soundproofing materials like acoustic panels or install white noise machines.
  • Use calming colors: Certain colors can help promote relaxation and calmness. Consider using soft blues, greens, or neutrals on the walls of your child's safe space.
  • Provide sensory input: Sensory toys like weighted blankets, fidget spinners, or tactile balls can provide calming sensory input for children with autism. You can also include items like bean bags or soft cushions for them to sit on.

By creating a safe space at home, you're providing your child with a place where they feel secure and comfortable. This can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, making it easier for them to navigate their daily lives.

Encourage Sensory Exploration

Sensory exploration activities like finger painting or playing with sand can help children with autism learn about their environment. Children with autism often have difficulty processing sensory information, so it's essential to provide them with opportunities to explore and understand different sensations.

Sensory play can also promote relaxation and reduce anxiety in children with autism, making it an excellent activity for them.

Here are some sensory exploration activities that you can try with your child:

  • Finger painting: Finger painting is a fun and messy activity that allows children to explore different colors and textures. You can use non-toxic paint or make your own using ingredients like flour, water, and food coloring.
  • Playing with sand: Playing with sand is another great sensory activity that allows children to explore different textures. You can use a sandbox or a small container filled with sand for this activity.
  • Water play: Water play is a calming sensory activity that can help reduce anxiety in children with autism. You can fill a small pool or container with water and add toys like boats or rubber ducks for your child to play with.
  • Playdough: Playdough is a versatile material that allows children to explore different textures and shapes. You can make your own playdough using ingredients like flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, and food coloring.

Encouraging your child to engage in sensory exploration activities not only helps them learn about their environment but also provides them with an opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves.

Foster Independence

While it's important to provide support, it's also essential to encourage independence in your child with autism. Children with autism can benefit greatly from learning how to do things on their own and take responsibility for their actions.

Encouraging independence can help boost their confidence and self-esteem, which are essential for their overall well-being.

Here are some ways you can foster independence in your child:

  • Teach life skills: Teaching life skills like dressing themselves, brushing their teeth, or preparing simple meals can help children with autism become more independent. Break down each task into smaller steps and provide visual aids like pictures or diagrams to help them understand the process.
  • Encourage decision-making: Allowing your child to make decisions, even small ones like choosing what clothes to wear or what game to play, can help them develop decision-making skills. Encourage them to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a choice.
  • Set achievable goals: Setting achievable goals for your child can help them feel empowered and motivated. Start with small goals that they can easily accomplish and gradually increase the difficulty level as they progress.
  • Allow natural consequences: Allowing natural consequences when your child makes a mistake can be an effective way of teaching responsibility. For example, if they forget their lunch at home, let them experience the consequence of going hungry at school instead of bringing it to them.

By fostering independence in your child with autism, you're helping them develop essential life skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Address the Impact of Autism on Siblings

Having a sibling with autism can be challenging for neurotypical siblings, and it's important for parents to recognize and address their needs. Siblings of children with autism may feel neglected or overshadowed by their sibling's needs, leading to feelings of resentment or guilt. It's essential to create an open dialogue with your neurotypical children about their feelings and concerns.

Here are some ways parents can support their other children:

  • Set aside one-on-one time: Make sure you spend quality time with each of your children individually. This can help them feel valued and important.
  • Provide opportunities for respite: Consider arranging for your other children to spend time with a trusted family member or friend so that they can have a break from the demands of living with a sibling with autism.
  • Encourage open communication: Create an environment where your other children feel comfortable talking about their emotions regarding their sibling's diagnosis. Encourage them to share any concerns they have and validate their feelings.
  • Provide education about autism: Help your other children understand what autism is and how it affects their sibling. This can help reduce misunderstandings and promote empathy towards their brother or sister.

By addressing the impact of autism on siblings, parents can help create a supportive and loving home environment for all of their children.


What is autism?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. The symptoms of autism can vary widely, but they typically include difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication, difficulty with social interaction, and repetitive behaviors or interests.

How common is autism?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States has been diagnosed with autism.

Can autism be cured?

There is no cure for autism, but early intervention and treatment can help children with autism develop skills and reach their full potential. Treatment options may include behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medication, or a combination of these approaches.

How do I know if my child has autism?

The signs and symptoms of autism can vary widely from one child to another, but some common indicators include delayed speech or language development, difficulty making eye contact or engaging in social interactions, repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping or spinning objects, and sensitivity to sensory input like loud noises or bright lights.

If you suspect your child may have autism, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional for an evaluation.

Is it possible for children with autism to lead fulfilling lives?

Absolutely! Children with autism can lead happy and fulfilling lives with the right support and resources. Many individuals with autism go on to pursue higher education, have successful careers, and form meaningful relationships throughout their lives.

How can I find resources for raising a child with autism?

There are many resources available for parents of children with autism. Some helpful organizations include Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America, and the National Autism Association. These organizations offer information on treatment options, support groups for parents and caregivers of children with autism.

How can I be an advocate for my child with autism?

As a parent of a child with autism, it's important to be an active advocate for your child. This may involve working with your child's school to develop an individualized education plan (IEP), advocating for access to therapy and other resources, and educating others in your community about autism. By being proactive and informed, you can help ensure that your child receives the support they need to thrive.


Raising a child with autism requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to learn. By educating yourself, creating a structured routine, communicating effectively, encouraging social interaction, using positive reinforcement, seeking professional help, and taking care of yourself, you can provide your child with the support and care they need to thrive.