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Tips for Interacting with an Autistic Child

February 7, 2013


Hosting an autistic child in your home or child care program can be challenging.

Reva Guimont, who provides parent support at Exceptional Parents Unlimited in Fresno, and Edie Bartnof, vice principal of the therapeutic school at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Los Angeles, offer these tips on how to interact with an autistic child.

  • First, ask the parent about the child. Does the child like to be touched or hate it? What may trigger a tantrum?
  • Ask the parent how you can help. Do you have a room where the child could be alone? What can you do to reassure the child?
  • When you ask questions, leave lots of time for the child to come up with an answer.
  • Try to keep autistic children away from cluttered, chaotic and noisy environments.

The Autism Research Institute also provides tips on the “10 Things Parents with Loved Ones on the Autism Spectrum Would Love to Hear.”