Do you wonder how on earth you can deal with Autism and Anxiety?
Children with autism tend to experience anxiety in a much different way than we, as adults, do. For them, carrying out simple daily activities such as going to the supermarket or having a playdate, or even just taking public transportation can be difficult.
What’s more, the symptoms of anxiety for children with autism can present themselves quite differently than you’d expect. If you, as a parent, are confused about how to handle the situation, here’s a bit of help. Read on to discover 5 effective anxiety coping strategies for children with autism.
Explore Deep Touch Pressure for Autism and Anxiety
Deep touch pressure can be quite helpful in reducing the intensity of symptoms associated with anxiety, not just in children with autism, but even in adults. This therapy can help reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. What’s best is the fact that it comes with no risk, and is incredibly inexpensive.
There are many items to help you explore deep touch pressure therapy for your child with autism and anxiety. Here are a few to consider.
- Weighted vests
- Weighted blankets
- Weighted lap pads
- A nice bear hug
- Bean bag chairs
- A calming massage
While exploring this, you’ll need to remember that every child is different and every child reacts differently to solutions. Experiment and see what works best, and then implement it.
Create a Safe Space
Children with anxiety can really benefit from having a safe space where they can be themselves and express their feelings openly. Set up a corner or space in your home. Make it cozy and comfortable with having some pillows, a blanket, some puzzles, a stress ball, and even a bean bag.
This space can act as an effective way to reduce sensory input and can help your anxious child feel more relaxed and at ease, effortlessly. You can also set up a portable sensory toolbox here.
Try Different Relaxation Techniques for kids with Autism and Anxiety
One of the most effective and useful ways to help your child with autism navigate through their anxious and stressful moments is to help them learn different relaxation techniques. These techniques can have different levels of impact, which can differ from child to child. The idea is to explore as many of them as you can and then work with the ones that feel the best.
Deep breathing, positive visualization, meditation have all been found to be super effective.
Have a Fidget Toy Handy
Fidget toys have become super popular as a tool for those with autism, especially in recent years. These can be extremely effective, especially when it comes to redirecting potentially harmful behaviors in autistic children.
When anxiety triggers, these toys can act as tools to help distract them with repetitive movements.
It is also important to remember that there are some situations and events that might act as anxiety triggers for children with autism. Identify them and try to limit your child’s exposure to them.
Make it Easier With Storytelling for Autism and Anxiety
Limiting exposure to triggers may not always work, and that’s exactly why storytelling can help. Going over the difficult scenario or situation beforehand can work as a nice buffer for your child and can lessen their emotional experience during the actual situation.
For instance, if your child faces issues while being in a social gathering and you have a family get-together coming up, you can prepare them for the situation by going through it in the form of a story.
Guide them through what they can expect to happen at the gathering, the people they’ll be meeting along with some visual cues. This can get your child more prepared, and therefore, less likely to feel overwhelmed when they are actually in the situation.