Autism: Parents Need Help Managing Emotions, Too
Children with autism have to learn techniques to control their emotions that other children often learn instinctively. A new study shows that parents of children with autism also benefit from learning emotional control techniques when interacting with their children.
Children who suffer from autism are taught techniques and methods to control and manage their emotions which other children learn instinctively. Similarly, parents of children suffering from autism should also learn these techniques for better emotional control when they interact with their children. In one research study, parents were asked to act as a therapist in sessions where they learned about emotional techniques and were then told to mimic those behaviors. The research showed that when parents improved their ability to handle their own emotions, they viewed themselves in a more positive light. It also helped them to become more aware of their parenting skills. The parents began to show improvements in maintaining their own well-being, regulation of emotion, and mindfulness, too. The study used cognitive behavioral therapy, which essentially focuses on how the brain perceives events, tries to regulate one’s feelings, and creates certain beliefs and then behaves according to these beliefs. A few of the techniques commonly used in CB therapy are practicing mindfulness, journaling, talking through unhealthy beliefs, and carrying out certain exercises. CB therapy is known to be a common treatment method used for depression, stress, phobias, eating disorders, obsessions, and anger management. It has also been introduced for the treatment of substance abuse as well as persistent pain that is mostly neurological in nature.
This technique is becoming widely known as an effective treatment method for children who suffer from autism due to its ability to calm down anxiety, which is a common occurrence in an autistic child. These anxieties are often caused due to the irrational thinking of the child, and CB therapy tries to change this unhealthy thought process. Children who suffer from autism often have trouble regulating their emotions, along with poor language skills, all of which leads to difficulty identifying some of the early signs of anxiety. In such cases, parents need to be able to interpret what their child wants to say or what they mean. They can also help their child remember the techniques they’ve learned and remind the child how to carry out everyday activities as well.
The parents who took part in the CB therapy with their child found certain benefits in the retraining of their own thinking. One of the noted differences was an improvement in their mindful parenting. This is a term that has been catching on as of late. Mindful parenting has four main principles: parents should be aware of their own feelings when they are dealing with their child; they should pause for a few minutes before they react to any kind of angry response; parents should be mindful enough to actively listen to their child’s words; and they should have compassion as well as respect for their child. Participating in cognitive behavioral therapy can bring about significant improvements in the relationship between parent and child.