I have learned from my brother who has his disorder of autism, that he and our family needed to be integrated in our community with encouragement. In addition, our family could not do it on our own. We needed additional help for all of us to understand how to function in the community as a family and individually.
When our family was able get together for holidays to do fun things, my brother was encouraged to be part of activities and be integrated, as well. He had to learn his boundaries and the boundaries of others.
You will want to take into consideration or ask questions, if your child should go to a park and play with other children? Go to a restaurant to eat with the family, friends and relatives? Go on trips or overnight special events? Go shopping or to a mall? etc.
Is your child going to display temper tantrums, have other behavior disorders that will make it difficult for he or she to be integrated? If this becomes a problem, your child may have to learn social skills on how to handle new interactions with different places and people.
There are tips and steps you might want to consider to take, to help your child and you to be integrated with encouragement and be part of the community. For example:
* Talk to your child. Make a list of what your child likes to do and does not want to do.
* What are his or her interests?
* What are the places he or she would like to visit?
* Does your child have confidence and knowledge to understand where and what the plans are?
* If your child does not understand what the plans are, will you be able to explain them to him or her so they understand?
* Are you as parent(s), caregiver(s), able to communicate what the needs are for your child to be integrated?
* To complete an activity, will you be able to teach your child how it is accomplished?
* What about the environment for your child? Is it positive, is it stressful, is it relaxing?
* Will there be loud noises, bright flashing lights that can create sensory problems?
* Are you willing to check out the areas for your child before you arrive, to know what is expected?
* Is there going to be a lot of walking? Is your child able to walk long distances or even short distances without conflict?
Communicate with other people in your community. Find out who your child will be interacting with and where that will take place. Keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of your child. Never push or force your child into some activity your child will not like or do.
These are some of the questions and concerns you will want to consider before trying to introduce your child to integration in your community.
You as parent(s), caregiver(s) have the responsibility to take charge of your child and understand how imperative it is for your child to be integrated in your community with encouragement.
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