Autism Series VIII: 7 Ways to Deal with Fluctuations in your Child’s Skills

Autism Series VIII: 7 Ways to Deal with Fluctuations in your Child’s Skills

autism written in many ways

Deal with Fluctuations in your Child’s Skills, Consistent therapy for a child with Autism / ASD can help develop positive changes in his / her skills.

However, there are times when the child may show fluctuations in the skills despite such consistency in routine. This can be tough to understand for a parent placing a lot of effort for the betterment of their child.


Here are a few tips that can help keep you positive despite these ups and downs.

1. Spend time reflecting. First and foremost, reflect and ask these questions about your child and his / her environment:

(a) Has there been a change in any part of the routine of the child?

(b) Has there been an illness, discomfort the child has had to deal with?

(c) If on medication, have there been any changes?

(d) Emotionally, what is different for the child? Any parent traveling or a favorite aunt not around?


If there is any significant change that is causing the fluctuation, it’s important to address it. If the child is dealing or is suspected to be dealing with any medical issue, a medical professional should be consulted first. Therapy is most effective when the child is healthy. For children with any possible chronic issue, consistent guidance by a medical professional would enable the child to function healthily.

There may be times when there may be no concrete answers to the above- mentioned questions. At those times, it’s best to focus the attention towards points 2 and 5 given below.

Deal with Fluctuations in your Child’s Skills

2. Talk to your therapist(s). If you’ve noticed a change in skill at home, bring it to the notice of your therapist(s). It is likely that they have noticed the changes too, but maybe spending some time observing the changes closely. At times, a child’s skill may spring back with time (and the continued consistent routine).


3. Troubleshoot with the therapist. Once you and the therapist(s) are on the same page. Troubleshoot and figure out a plan of action. You may be asked to refocus on some older goals at home. Do not let that dishearten you. Many times, a child can relearn the skills quicker than you imagine.


4. Keep faith in the therapists. A seasoned therapist will be able to provide appropriate guidance based on the child’s changes in skill(s). They would have an understanding of the possibility of fluctuations in skills for a child with ASD. When a parent and therapist work together through this tough time, a child has better chances of gaining skills quickly.


5. Continue the routine. Keeping the routine going is important for the child. It can include the sessions, activities at home, play time, daily routine activities etc. Such predictability and focus are quite important for a child with ASD to get back on track.


6. Destress. Despite fluctuations in the child’s skills, it’s important to keep yourself together and as stress-free as possible. Take time to de-stress on a regular basis since it would help you refocus better with your child while keeping your spirits and energy levels up. The diagnosis of Autism / ASD may at times bring fluctuations and uncertainties. However, regular therapy can provide good long-term changes. Some tips on how to destress can be found in an article here.


Share with us how you have dealt with fluctuations in your child’s skills.  


This article is a part of the Autism Series. Read on to learn about intervention and other topics. Subscribe to us to receive the latest article in your mail!


Tanushree Chandhok
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