5 Ways Our Child Psychologists Can Help Special Needs Children
A child psychologist is an expert in childhood development who works with children and adolescents to diagnose and help resolve issues that cause emotional or behavioural problems. Child psychology is important because it can help us better understand how kids tick as well as how best to support them to become well-rounded individuals. It is therefore useful in assisting both parents and teachers to better understand and help children in their care.
1. Assessment By Experts
In Mom’s Intervention Program, we appoint one of our child psychologists to assist you. The psychologist acts as your program guide and facilitator and your mentor. Your child psychologist is with you at every step in the program to monitor your child’s progress and update the program to reflect your child’s changing needs. Each month, your psychologist provides a new education plan and resources to advance your child’s skills.
2. Develop a “point system” that allows your child to earn rewards.
One of the best ways to teach kids cause and effect is to give them “points” for good behaviour. Allowing them to redeem these points at the end of the week for a reward, such as a material threat or extra privileges, can help them start connecting their actions with specific results threatening the future.
3. Hold your child accountable for his actions.
Understanding the role Asperger plays in your child’s outbursts should not mean allowing him to use Autism as an “excuse.” Yes, you should help him manage stimulation, coax him through situations that are genuinely difficult for him, and empathize with him. At the same time, however, he still needs to be held accountable when his actions are hurting other people. If he isn’t, he’ll never learn to control his impulses.
4. Give your child a daily schedule.
Kids with Asperger feel calmer and more in control when they have a schedule outlining each day. Likewise, you should let your child cross or wipe off tasks as he completes them. This will enhance his sense of control and give him a feeling of accomplishment.
5. Provide your child with a list of rules.
Giving your child a clear list of rules accomplishes two things: It helps him understand where household boundaries lie (without having to read social cues) and it reminds him to think before he acts. For best results, place the list of rules somewhere visible, such as on the fridge.
6. Guide your child through transitions.
Kids on the Spectrum have a difficult time switching from one activity to the next—even when the change is seemingly mundane, like being asked to get ready for bed. However, you can help them avoid melting down by preparing them for transitions ahead of time. Let your child know at least ten minutes in advance that you expect him to stop what he’s doing and engage in another activity. If he doesn’t cease what he’s doing, give him another reminder five minutes later.
Though teaching self-regulation to children on the Spectrum is challenging, the rewards are well worth it. Kids who can think before they act are calmer, happier, and enjoy healthier relationships with best results, start teaching your Asperger child impulse control skills early in life and patiently repeat lessons as needed. Your child will almost certainly prosper under your caring guidance.
Finally, don’t forget that assistance from a mental health professional can be an invaluable aid in teaching your child how to self-regulate. You and your child don’t have to navigate life with Asperger’s or HFA alone.