It's difficult to provide the continuous care that children with autism need. With work and other chores and tasks on your mind, it's impossible for you to be able to care for your child around the clock. Fortunately for you, since 1 in 45 children between the ages of 3 through 17 have been diagnosed with some level of autism, more and more childcare services have emerged that deal specifically with children with autism. While on the lookout for one that will suit your child's needs, you should consider whether the childcare services are able to provide and offer these three absolutely critical features.
A Calm-Down Room with Products and Tools to Help the Children Cool Off
Autistic children tend to be more sensitive to external stimuli, like sounds and motions, and can become overly aroused easily. They can go from being calm to irritated and anxious rather quickly, so it's vital that the childcare services have employed professionals that are able to spot triggers almost instantaneously. The best way to calm children with autism down is to keep them in a serene and peaceful environment. This is where a "calm-down room" comes into play. Every childcare facility that caters to autistic children should have at least one. This room should have a clean and simple design that will help ease the children's minds.
In addition to having a serene and peaceful environment to cool off, the childcare services should offer an array of different products and tools designed to help your child calm down. Keep in mind that each child will have their own activities that calm them down. Some might enjoy painting or coloring while others might prefer hugging a stuffed toy. The "calm-down room" should be well equipped with everything your child needs to cool off.
Regular Daily Journal Entries That Keep Track of the Children's Progress, Mood, and Behavior
Autistic children require more attention and care than usual. Their mental state will also likely change with time, as will their behavior. This journal will give you further insight into your child's mind even when you're not there to care for them. In addition, the little details that the caretakers have noticed might be useful in group therapy or might be used by the therapists to further manage your child's behavior.
When looking for childcare services, bring up whether the caretakers will fill out a daily journal to keep track of the child's progress, mood, and behavior. The journal should also include when different medications were prescribed and whether your child has had any daily outbursts with certain stimuli or activities. You should review the daily journals regularly. You might find the information recorded inside to be rather helpful.
Custom-Tailored Activities to Keep Children Occupied
Each autistic child is different. Not only will they have different activities that they are interested in, but they will also have their own unique set of talents and skills. The childcare services you go with should give your child plenty of opportunities to explore and take part in the activities they truly enjoy, whether that be arts and crafts projects, like painting, or something more physical, like biking.
Look for childcare services that can offer plenty of different activities for your child and that has caretakers to supervise your child when they are under their care.
There are plenty of childcare services that are more than qualified to care for autistic children. Make sure that the childcare service can provide the quality of care you seek by visiting the facility first and getting a first-hand experience of how the caretakers care for the children under their supervision.
Check out schools such as http://www.cottonwoodmontessorischools.com to learn more.