It can be difficult for parents to settle on a single form of autism therapy. Every child is different, and the kind of language development and social communication skills your child exhibits will determine what types of autism therapy might be useful. In addition, researchers are constantly learning more about autism, so the goal posts keep moving for involved parents.
When you’re busy with your autistic child’s ABCs, and teaching them to eat with a knife and fork, their entry into the job market can seem very far away. However, like all forms of social development, it pays to plan ahead to get the best results. Keep reading to learn how to help your child help themselves when it’s time to leave the nest and enter the job market.
Job Interviews Are Hard for Everyone
Think back to all the job interviews you went through to get a job. The entire process is nerve-wracking, no matter what type of job you’re applying for. Everything is unfamiliar, and the interviewer is likely to be extremely rigid in their manner of questioning all the applicants. If you’re autistic, what is a minor annoyance to others might be overwhelming to you. An autistic job applicant will be faced with the need to explain why they may need a little help to thrive in the workplace. Job interviews are a place where the employer asks what you can do for them. It can be hard to steer the conversation towards what they could do for you first. The more familiar your autistic child is with the whole procedure, the more likely it will be to have a happy outcome.
Autism Therapy for Getting a Job
Play therapy is a great way to encourage children to learn and grow. When children play with others, they naturally feel a need to communicate their wants and desires to their playmate. If you play along with them, they’ll play along with you.
When your child is very young, a simple bout of roughhousing is great fun, and beneficial. Children love to march and clap and jump around. As children get older, they become interested in more sedate activities like reading or artwork. Eventually, role playing and play-acting games are likely to become their favorites. Walking around in a parent’s shoes is a familiar playacting starter course. It’s usually not long before playacting includes people outside the child’s small circle of family and friends. I’m a firefighter! I’m an astronaut! It’s great fun to dress up and pretend, and it’s a wonderful form of autism therapy, too.
Adding Tomorrow’s Workplace to Autism Therapy Games
Today’s workplace looks very different than it did just a decade or so ago. There are jobs in today’s marketplace that didn’t exist when we were born. In many of tomorrow’s jobs, being autistic might not be considered a hindrance. In fact, many common manifestations of autism and Asperger’s are now considered a plus for a lot of information technology work. Lots of knowledge work requires the intense focus that many Aspies are known for.
When you’re playing dress up with your autistic child, there’s no reason why you have to limit the characters to superheroes or exotic occupations. Your child will probably be just as excited to pretend to work in an office as in a space station. You can set up a little play office in your child’s playroom to increase the amount of time they spend with autism therapy games.
Children have vivid imaginations, so real office equipment isn’t necessary. Have your child draw a picture of numbers and letters, and then hang it over their desk to act as a computer screen. An old computer keyboard and mouse placed on the desk will have your little entrepreneur banging away happily in no time. An old phone placed on the desktop is a great way to get a child who is behind in language development to start babbling away. It’s especially effective if you pick it up first, talk a bit, and then hang up. They’ll soon be calling you back faster than anyone at your real job.
Don’t Miss Out on Take Your Child to Work Opportunities
If you’re an office worker, you might think your office is too humdrum to be interesting to your child. That’s because everything in your office is familiar to you. If you think back to the first day you spent on the job, you might recall how interesting and new it all seemed.
For many autistic children, interesting and new things can present challenges. That’s why it’s important to familiarize your children with as much of the adult world as possible when they’re still small. That goes double for the world of work. Take advantage of every bring your child to work day. They’ll gain familiarity with things like elevators, escalators, office lighting, seating, and the quiet bustle of an office. You’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing that a tag-along trip to the office when they’re young might make the difference in a job interview when they’re older.