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6 Ways to Help Reduce Anxiety in Children with Autism

6 Ways to Help Reduce Anxiety in Children with Autism

Experiencing anxiety can be very challenging. It can affect your productivity, your health and even the smallest parts of your everyday life. If you have ever experienced this as an adult, you would realize that anxiety in children with autism can be more difficult. These special children are already dealing with a lot of difficulties in their daily routine and anxiety will surely add more to all of the trouble. With this, it is really imperative for parents, teachers and other individuals on know the effects of anxiety to kids with autism.

What are the links between autism and anxiety?

A study revealed that people with autism also experience anxiety. The challenge for parents is how to try to understand the overlapping characteristics of anxiety and autism. There are instances when the child would show different behaviours that will make you wonder if it is a symptom of the anxiety of it is only a part of the characteristics of a child with autism. They can be over stimulated, they can also harm themselves and they can have an outburst of emotion. For other children, they become so depended with schedules and they can withdraw from their usual circle.

Six Ways to Help Your Child with Anxiety

As parents, the first thing that we should be doing is to understand the triggers and the type of environment your child has. Start looking for information that will help you get a better perspective on the situation that your child has. After that, you can continue looking for the best ways to address the issue. To give you a head start, here are some ways on how you can help your child with anxiety:

  • Introduce Your Child to Music

Music therapists have proven that music is a great tool to help people with autism deal with anxiety. Music can help in dealing with sensory issues and behaviours. It can also increase or improve the child’s self-determination and self-reliance. Letting your child take music lessons can also improve their communication skills. Their music experiences will provide them with personal connections with the people around them. Letting them listen to music while they are working on something will surely increase their attention to what they are doing.

  • Yoga and Breathing Exercises

The sensory experience of children with autism is what makes them different from other people. Their response to new experiences is either fight or flight. They become suddenly active and they may experience some changes in the heart rate and this can start anxiety. With yoga, it would be easier for your child to learn to regulate his or her emotion. The child will learn the proper response to certain situations.

  • Art Therapy

There will be times when children with autism will channel their anxiety to some compulsive behaviour. They may show some problems communicating properly. When these behaviours become repetitive, you have to think of a way to channel these negative actions to something that can be productive. This is where art therapy comes in. Art promotes healthy ways to express oneself. With this, the child will be able to explore his or her emotions and transfer his or her energy into something beautiful.

  • Visual Schedules and Transitions

One of the problems that children with autism may experience that can lead to anxiety is transitioning. There are some activities that are not so appealing to them. With this, they will certainly have a hard time transitioning from a task they love to an activity that they find unappealing. To help with this, you can use visual presentations to make them feel interested. A photo of the next activity will help them visualize themselves doing it.

  • Know Your Child’s Signs of Distress

Another very important thing that parents should know is how to identify if their child is showing signs of anxiety. With this, you have to consider observing your kid’s daily activities and identify how their emotions change based on their situation. With this, you would know when to intervene.

  • Create a Safe Space to Calm Down or Regroup

A safe space is a contingency plan that will help you calm your child when he or she is feeling extremely anxious. You can prepare puzzles, bean bags or anything that will easily calm them down. However, you need to remember that safe spaces should not be treated as a regular option. It should only be used during extreme times.

Caring for children with autism may be difficult at times but it is completely worth it.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Author Bio:

Curtis Dean writes on behalf of Sage Music School where they base lessons on the science and research of the psychology of learning. Their effective teaching methods create confident and capable students who enjoy the happiness of making music.

Top Self-Care Strategies For Your Mental Health

Top Self-Care Strategies For Your Mental Health

With so many Americans suffering each year from one mental illness or another (around 20% of all men, women, and children), it’s important to remember to care for your mind, body, and soul. In addition to any professional help that you may require for your mental illness, such as medication or therapy, living healthily is an important part of managing your illness. Your diet, lifestyle, recreational activities, friends, and routine can all have a major impact on how you feel, physically and emotionally, and so can also have a huge impact on your treatment plan. Here is a short list of self-care strategies, that can help you to ensure that your lifestyle has no negative impact on your mental health or treatment plan.

 

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  1. Express Yourself

Whether it be through drawings, diary entries, or dance sequences, it is always beneficial to express your feelings, and not bottle things up. If you find it hard to explain how you feel in words, you could show your drawings and paintings to your therapist, as a form of art therapy.

Expressing yourself artistically is also a great way to keep your mind and body active, and not dwelling on negative feelings and emotions.

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  1. Get Active

As above, being active is a great way to escape from negative feelings as you generally will focus on the physical activity you’re partaking in, rather than anything else. It’s also proven to reduce stress, as it pumps your body full of endorphins, which trigger a positive response in the body. Scientists have proved that endorphins are very useful at elevating your overall mood, decreasing levels of tension, and improving your self-esteem. In fact, a simple five-minute aerobic session has been shown to stimulate anti-anxiety effects

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  1. Be Social

Talking through your feelings with someone you can trust may be a great help in managing your mental illness. Regardless of whether the person is a family member, a friend, or a therapist, just having someone listen to what it is you have to say, and showing that they care about you and your feeling can really heighten your self-esteem. They may have also encountered similar problems to you, or have had similar feelings to you and so may be able to provide advice, as well as emotional support.

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  1. Learn About Your Illness

Learning as much about your mental illness as possible may help you to feel more in control of it, which will reduce your levels of stress and anxiety. Having a read of some blog posts, websites, or even taking a psychology degree online will all provide you will masses of information, all of which could help you better manage your illness. They could provide you will information on different types of treatments, as well as information that you could give to your friends and family so that you know that they too will always know what to expect.

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  1. Eat Healthily

Evidence has indicated that the foods you eat have a big impact on the development and management of certain mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Those who have some level of mental health issue report eating fewer healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and more unhealthy foods, such as chocolate and chips, whereas over two-thirds of mentally healthy people report that they eat much more healthily. Stimulants such as alcohol and coffee, as well as many drugs, also have links to the development of certain mental illnesses. This shows that a healthy meal plan is an incredibly important factor in managing many different mental illnesses.

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  1. Have A Routine

For mental illnesses such as anxiety, having a routine or a plan for the day can help to reduce stress, as you always know where you have to be and what you have to do next. Just be careful not to make the routine too strict; otherwise, you may get panicky if you have to deviate from the plan for any reason.

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  1. Get Plenty Of Sleep

Getting too much or too little sleep can result in a range of negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, and feeling depressed, and you will obviously feel very tired, even with too much sleep, which can make it difficult to cope with everyday life. You may also end up feeling lonely and isolated, as your tiredness may make you feel like you don’t want to be sociable. In extremely serious cases, if you already have a psychotic disorder, tiredness may even trigger a psychotic episode. For someone suffering from a mental illness, it is very easy to under or over sleep, which isn’t very good, when all of these negative repercussions come with it, and so getting into a regular sleeping pattern would be incredibly beneficial.

 

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  1. Know When To See A Professional

Managing your own illness through self-care strategies can provide many people living with mental illness a sense of control over their life and their illness, which in itself can help lower levels of stress and anxiety, raise your levels of self-esteem, and reduce the symptoms of your mental illness. However, this isn’t always the case, sometimes things can go out of your control, and sometimes you may need the help of a professional, whether that be a therapist, a psychologist, or a doctor. If you start to feel as though things are getting out of your control or that you can’t cope with everyday life, it is always best to contact a professional, just to be on the safe side.

Hopefully, these self-care strategies will provide you a sense of control over your life and your mental illness. However, you must always remember that you can’t always do everything on your own. Sometimes the best strategy for self-care is knowing when you can’t completely care for yourself on your own anymore, and when that is the case there is always someone that you can contact, whether it be family, a friend, or a healthcare professional, that will be more than happy to help you.

 Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.