One of the most important things to remember is the difference between wants and needs. Children in general express their wants, and we respond, but only a subset of these are actually needs. It's not to say that we shouldn't respond to their wants, but we should have some awareness of the difference.
When it comes to needs, for autistic children, they can be hidden. A child on the autism spectrum may not have the ability to express their needs in a way that is easy to understand. To really help a child with autism, it's important to increase your awareness so that their needs can be uncovered. Simply opening up your awareness and really looking for and noticing the patterns can go a long way to truly helping your child with autism.
Unfortunately, books and theory can get in the way of a parent's ability to have strong awareness and notice the patterns. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't read books to help with your knowledge of autism and parenting. You should, however, understand that you will expand your perspective on the subject from reading, but don't fall into the trap of using the books to form rigid beliefs and rules that get in the way of helping your child. It's interesting to me how many rigid beliefs the 'autism experts' have, while judging children with autism as being rigid.
Your child may have simpler needs than you think. They may need happy and empathetic parents. They may need some structure, routine and boundaries that aren't enforced by rewards and consequences. They may also need the often overlooked need that we all have - nutrition.
Children with autism are often misunderstood by those who have never walked in their shoes. This means that it takes time for the parents to understand their child’s developmental needs and learning style. As a result, it can be challenging to know how to best help your child with their condition. It can also be difficult for your child to communicate with you about what is going on in their head. Many children with autism are very intelligent, but they make up for this intelligence with sensory overload when it comes to feelings and emotions. This means that your child may not use words to explain what is happening and might instead act out physically or verbally—or both! It's important for parents to be patient and understanding of this trait of autism so that the child knows they are supported no matter what.