On average, 1 in every 44 kids aged 8 years has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Typically, children with ASD have varying support needs which range from learning disabilities to delayed speech development.

Read on to learn about the needs of a child diagnosed with ASD.


Children with Autism Needs

Autism spectrum disorder affects a child’s brain development and how they process information.

Typically, the brain has two halves- the right brain hemisphere and the left brain hemisphere. Both hemispheres exchange information via a bundle of fiber connections.

In a normal child, the two hemispheres pull together during development. This strong connection boosts the back-and-forth communication between the two brain hemispheres.

In contrast, there’s lower connectivity between the brain hemispheres in children with autism. This means the child struggles with tasks that need them to combine information from various parts of the brain, such as complex motor tasks or social interaction.

That’s why children with autism have different needs than normal kids, with the former needing more sensory, communication, and social help.


Needs of a Child with Autism

Social help

Children with autism may need support in learning how to behave in various social settings. Perhaps they want to socialize with other people but fear new social experiences.

For this reason, they need to learn social skills such as play skills, conversation skills, emotional skills, and problem-solving skills.

You can build your kid’s social skills through different strategies, including the following:

  • Practice play
  • Praise and encouragement
  • Roleplay
  • Visual supports
  • Social stories



Children with autism may have speech and communication issues. These children may engage in the following behaviors:

  • Remaining mute
  • Producing cries, grunts, or harsh sounds
  • Producing robotic-like speech
  • Echoing what another person utters (a condition called echolalia)
  • Using unexpressive tonal voice in their phrases or sentences
  • Memorizing things heard without understanding the contextual meaning

Speech therapy is a key part of autism treatment that enhances overall communication. The speech-language therapist works out the ideal ways to improve communication. For example, if your child is nonverbal or has major problems with speech development, the speech therapist may integrate substitutes to speech, such as:

  • Typing or signing
  • Electronic “talkers”
  • Pictures
  • Exercising or massaging facial muscles and lips to improve speech articulation

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is another effective therapy for ASD. This type of therapy incorporates rewards to teach and emphasize new skills.

The treatment objectives may vary from one individual to another. These may include personal care, social skills, communication, and school work.

Help with Learning Disabilities

About 40% of people diagnosed with autism have a learning disability. It affects your child’s ability to either make meaning out of what they see or hear or combine information from the different sections of the brain.

Learning disabilities will include challenges with social interaction, organizational skills, and perspective-taking. Autism may also affect your child’s intellect and academic skills, with math, reading, and writing being the main problematic areas.

Here are ways to deal with your child’s learning disability:

  • Positive reinforcement will give your child a strong sense of self-worth and the determination to work through difficulties.
  • Nurture the areas where your child excels and not just the areas of weakness.
  • Identify how your little one learns best and take steps to reinforce that type of learning at home.

Sensory Toys

Children with autism often grapple with sensory issues. Sensory issues affect how they interpret and react to various types of stimuli. These may include smells, touch, sights, sounds, and tastes.

If your child experiences sensory overload, you can give them sensory toys to play with. Sensory toys will stimulate your child’s senses in a safe and natural surrounding through play. As a result, they can better understand their senses and learn how to manage them.

The best types of sensory toys for your ASD child include:

  • Sensory mats
  • Putty
  • Chew toys
  • Reflective balls


Children with autism like routines and hate unexpected changes. Therefore, a predictable schedule will help reduce their levels of anxiety since they can know what to expect during the day without many surprises.

If your child has trouble with reading, you can create a visual schedule for them and keep it posted where they can see it.

Calm-Down Zone

A calm-down zone or corner is a designated safe space that can help your child to regulate their emotions during challenging experiences.

At home, choose a corner in a quiet room as your child’s calm-down zone. You could add comfortable seating and some of your child’s preferred toys and books.

Special Attention

Children with autism need special attention because of their different needs. You can give your child special attention by:

  • Smiling at them randomly
  • Reinforcing their good behavior with praise and words of affirmation
  • Playing with your kid’s toys together
  • Commenting on their play
  • Listening when they speak


Waiting can be difficult for children with autism. When they have to wait for something that they think takes too long, they may end up frustrated or experience an emotional outburst.

You can teach your child patience through the following strategies:

  • Be a good role model.
  • Use a timer. The child can see the clock count down when you tell them to wait for a few minutes.
  • Find distractions. Have a kit ready with toys, books, paper, and crayons that your child can play with as they wait.

Extra Assistance with Daily Tasks

Children with autism may need extra help with day-to-day tasks such as toileting, teeth brushing, taking a shower, or eating.

You can help your child perform these daily tasks through the following step-by-step teaching method.

  • Make sure they understand the importance of the task.
  • Split tasks into easy step-by-step schedules.
  • Encourage them to complete their daily tasks.
  • Provide positive reinforcement upon completion of the task.


The Bottom Line

Children with autism have varying support needs, which is why you should learn about your child’s exact needs to find a solution that works best for them.

You can combine a range of approaches like therapy, positive reinforcement, and scheduling to offer more wide-ranging support for them. You can also seek the help of a professional to make sure you’re on the right path.


If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.

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