Showing Love to an Autistic Child
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and it’s time to show everyone all kinds of love, not just the romantic kind. It’s the time to show love to everyone in your life that you deeply care about. Your children are some of the most important aspects of your life and you love them greatly. Showing love to an autistic child or a child with another disorder might be difficult for some parents and guardians. Physical touch might bother them or give them sensory overload. It can be hard to find ways to show your child how much you truly love and care for them, without making them uncomfortable.
Remember What’s Important
Your child did not choose to have a disability. This is very important to keep in mind and remember especially when the going gets tough. They do not choose to be this way and they are not intentionally hurting your feelings. When it does not seem that your child reciprocates the love that you have for them, it can really hurt and bring a lot of insecurities to the surface. Your child is different. They might not be able to love you the same way that other people do. This is something that you and your family always need to remember.
Your child still loves you and they always will, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. You’re their parents. You nourish them and give them care; of course they love you. As angry or uncomfortable as they may seem with you, they love you and you love them. That love doesn’t just go away at the drop of a hat. You may not feel the love all the time, but you just need to be content with knowing that it is there. You love your child unconditionally and don’t you forget it. While it might not always feel like it, love goes both ways.
Trial and Error
Finding a way to show your love that works, might take some time. The entire process can be very trial and error. This all about finding out what works best for you and your child. You need to understand and respect their boundaries, and don’t be turned off from the entire experience of your child turns out to have a lot of boundaries. If they are susceptible to experience sensory overloads, you need to respect that and be as aware of it to the best of your ability. That being said, be wary of how other members of the family show their love to your child. Tell them when your child is uncomfortable, even if it seems impolite. Your child needs to know that you are on their side. Having a child with a disability is a learning experience for everyone involved and it’s never too late to learn and you never stop trying to learn. Please, do not give up on them. That is the last thing that they want. They love you, so love them back in ways that they can understand.
If you can’t hug or kiss your child, just tell them how you feel. There are so many other ways to show love besides physical affection. Don’t be afraid to use your words. Words tend to be a lot more powerful than people give them credit for. Trust that your kids will hear you when you tell them that you love them. If they do not want to hear it from your mouth, write it down. Let them understand what you want to tell them in whatever way that they need to.
Just be there for them. They might not even need to hear or see the words “I love you.” You can show it through the actions. Listen to them when they have something to say and show that you’re paying attention to them. Pay attention to their interests and invest in spending time with them. Support their interests and really show that you want to see them succeed in whatever it is that they do. Give them plenty of structure and try to keep their lives as balanced as possible.
No one deserves to not feel loved on Valentine’s Day. We highly encourage you to work with your child to show and express love. If you need a little extra help, Pasitos Clinic can help you with therapeutic services for your child to help them better function in the everyday world. Don’t hesitate to contact us and ask us any questions that you may have about the care and treatments that we can provide for your child.