Autism is a disorder that is usually diagnosed in early childhood. However, it is not a pediatric condition. It is life long and brings many difficulties and challenges to both the affected child and parents. The care that a mother shows for her autistic child is different than what a father can offer. Also, the bond between a mother and her child becomes stronger after a diagnosis. The autistic child becomes dependent on her mother, which makes many people think that the father is inexistent in the process.
Contrary to the common belief, a father’s role is essential in a children’s development. An autistic girl is more sensitive and will need a father’s image to help her become stronger and overcome the challenges that come along her journey. So, if you want to learn how a father can help in raising an autistic daughter, you should keep reading this article.
Father’s Role in Raising an Autistic Daughter
Provide structure and safety for your girl
A father is seen as the family’s pillar. When you have a girl, your responsibility is double. You will have two girls to take care of and treat them like the princesses of the house. The most important thing that a father can offer to his autistic daughter is safety. You can create a safety zine at home. For example, you can create a calming space at home where you daughter can relax. This space will also help her feel secure and safe. Also, you can reward positive behavior.
As it is difficult to identify the proper facts, you should put an effort to track them and catch your girl when she is doing something right. As she spends most of the time with her mother, the father’s presence is essential. So, when you show your girl that you appreciate her efforts to act appropriately or learn something new, her improvement will be more visible and accelerated.
When you are the father of an autistic daughter, you should try to be consistent. If you have decided with your partner on a particular schedule and behavior, you should do your best to stick to it. Only through consistency and determination, you will be able to create the paternal figure in your child’s eye and make her feel attached to you.
Be your girl’s best friend
Your girl must see you as her parent, on whom she can rely and offer her security. Even if you don’t live anymore with your autistic daughter’s mother, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t collaborate on raising your kiddo. An autistic child comes with many challenges and difficulties. Thus, it is almost impossible for a solo partner to handle all of them without mistake. You can start a “partnering game” with your girl and explain to her that you are the co-captains of the most famous ships, which is your family.
Once your daughter starts to see you as her partner, you can initiate various games with her. You can discuss with her therapists and understand what the goals on which they are focusing to improve your girl’s behavior are. They can teach you several games that you can practice at home.
As long as your daughter trusts you and is open to accept you in her world, it will become a piece of cake to initiate the games. By creating such a special bond with your child, you will help her to reach the therapy’s goals faster than other children.
Fathers engage differently with an autistic daughters
In comparison to mothers, fathers tend to engage in more active games to help their daughters overcome autism challenges. For example, they can initiate a more productive and elaborated play. When they are talking to their dads, autistic daughters will use longer phrases and words.
The explanation relies on the fact that fathers are more direct and open to conversations. The mothers, on the other hand, will instead use comments and questions to initiate a discussion with their daughter. The father shows a more relaxed figure and will show his daughter that he is open to listen to her and focus on her interests. You can read on Subjecto on how a father can strengthen his relationship with his daughter and protect her under any circumstance.
Also, a father will always discuss with his daughter as if he was talking with an older person. Fathers are capable of leaving emotions aside easier and faster. So, they will treat an autistic girl like an average person and show her that they trust her capacity to be stable against her disorder. Such behavior builds confidence in her strengths and helps an autistic child respond very well to treatment.
Even though he suffers the same as the mother when he sees his daughter struggling with autism, a father will always be able to keep these feelings for himself and develop a normal behavior in front of his child.
Develop nonverbal ways to connect to get closer to your daughter
A father’s connection to his daughter is unique. When your girl is affected by autism, it can become challenging to communicate and bond with her. As talking to your daughter won’t work all the time, you can also try other methods. For example, you can identify various nonverbal cues to communicate with your autistic girl. If you are patient and attentively observe your daughter’s behavior, you will discover several nonverbal cues that you can use to communicate with her.
You should keep in mind that, even though she spends more time with her mother, she is not always paying attention to details and might miss these hints that your daughter is sending you. So, you can identify her sounds, facial expressions, or gestures on certain occasions. You can use them to develop your method of communication to bond with your daughter.
Besides, even though you might be extremely busy to work and provide a stable income for your family, you should also make time for fun. Even though your child has autism, she is still a child. Considering that she doesn’t spend time with you during the entire day, she should see you as the parent who provides her security and a lot of fun. Thus, you can create a playtime routine with your daughter and show her that you focus your undivided attention on her during this period.
This strategy’s benefits are tremendous, and you will see how the playtime routine will create a stronger bond with your girl.
Father’s Role in Raising an Autistic Girl
Raising a girl with autism is not easy. When you are a father of an autistic girl, you will have many responsibilities on your head. Even though it seems overwhelming to bring up a girl with such a condition, you should continue to be the pillar of your family.
A father will offer security to his daughter and show her that he is standing by her side under any circumstance. Also, you will have an active contribution to your daughter’s improvement as you can treat her as an average child and create a playtime routine every day. It is essential not to disappoint your girl and to be always there for her.