Autistic children see the world differently around us. It's not because they are not normal, it's because they are humans. They have the super abilities to taste, smell, and see the things much better than us.
So, when they experience the world differently, they experience the depression differently too. The reasons behind their depression are very unique, different, and sensitive.
If you want to solve your autistic child's depression problem, first you need to understand how he perceives the world, and what the major causes of his depression are.
Mother, This World is Rich!
In the world of autistic children, there are very rich colors, rich sounds, rich textures, and rich patterns. For us, the grass is green, but for them, the grass is intensely green with beautiful shades of lighting ,aving and rustling in the breeze, sun-warmed, and soft. Plus, the scent of that freshly cut grass is amazing too.
The entire beauty of the universe emerges in that one moment in the grass. The grass is rich, lush, beautiful, and heavenly for them … And, when heaven appears in front of you, do you divide your attention?
Now, why does this happen? It's a completely different story. But, if you ask me in a sentence, it's because, “Autistic children do not have filters.”
Our minds and senses filter the information all the time. Our minds do not overwhelm us with millions of things which happen around us all day day-to-day. We contain only that information in our minds which we can afford and handle.
But, this is not the case with autistic children. Autistic children do not have filters. They notice each and every single thing. Details matter to them. Every shade, every color, every pattern, every sound, and every smell graves their attention … But, the problem is, their minds have the same capacity of storing information as our minds have. They have the limited but rich world and we have unlimited but a blur world.
If you have lots of information to consume, but little space to store, what would you do?
Well, of course, you would limit yourself. You'll have a specific routine. You'll have limited friends. You would like to stay alone. You will not talk too much. You'll have a predictable routine. And, you'll avoid experiencing new things.
Now, if your parents force you to interact with new people, change your routines, or introduce new things into your life, how would you feel? How would you handle that pressure when your mind does not have the capacity to store new information?
Of course, you'll feel depressed.
In fact, you'll feel intensely depressed. Suicidal thoughts will come into your mind. You would do anything in your power to stop consuming new information. You will become a loner, or you will become stricter with your routine, or start doing weird acts (for example: bang your head on the floor, rock your body, or flap your hands) in order to stop your mind from consuming new information .
In addition, your depression will lead to emotional and physical problems. No one will understand your pain – because what's normal for you is not normal for them. You will start depicting yourself through your emotions and make your condition even more severe. You will feel that life is not worth living.
Heal the Depression
Look into the inner world of your child. You are probably torturing his innocent mind through unnoticeable ways. The first, and the most important, thing you need to do is to stop those activities immediately that are new to your child, because those activities are torturing him badly.
Second, give him some time to absorb his feelings. Do not complicate the situation more through your words when your child's trying to handle the tough situation by himself, because your words can bring new sensory information that can make your child panic even more. The only thing you can do is to hug him, listen to him calmly, and kiss him with love. Let your child feel that you understand his / her feelings.
Third, and lastly, tell him that he is the child with the “Super Ability”. Let him realize, through your words and stories, that the powers which he / she holds are precious – in a way, it's right too. Give him / her the examples, and prove your point. For example, the things which he sees, hears, or smells, they all are true, but those things are hidden from you, and from the world … Praise his abilities, boost his confidence. Make him feel superior to others. This strategy not only heals his depression immediately but also compels him to think that you are his best friend, and he can trust you completely – and that's what you want your child to believe.
The most important thing is, the more you understand what causes an autistic child to feel depressed, the more you handle the situation easily. Of course, floods of new information can depress him – it's a basic point, but there can be other millions of reasons too that can depress him. For example: bullying, feelings of worthlessness, changes in sleep, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death (suicidal thoughts) etc.
So, hug your child, kiss him, and protect him. Your warm, loving gestures heal his depression instantly and make him radiate with happiness.