When it comes to parenting children in general, it is hard.
However, this task becomes a lot harder when you have a child who has autism. Thus, it is important for parents to get as much support as they can from family, medical professionals, and other parents, particularly if these parents are also caring for a child or children who share this diagnosis.
You may, of course, be wondering why it is worth reaching out to other parents who have children with autism. Read on to find out.
It is safe to say that parenting a child that has autism spectrum disorder is going to be different from parenting a child that does not.
Sadly, many parents of special needs children can find themselves isolated, as other parents and even their families may not understand what they are going through. Luckily, other parents of autistic children are a group that can relate to you because, well, they are living it too!
There are many apps that can help you to connect with parents of children with autism in your area, so download an app like Autism 360 to connect with this group.
Advice and Tips
Most parents who don’t have children that have autism can confuse the terminology that is used with autism spectrum disorders and, can simply put, make you want to rip your hair out. No, a tantrum in a 2-year-old is not the same as a meltdown in a child with autism who is 6!
Luckily, other parents of children with autism can offer you tips and advice on how to manage your children, how to look after yourself, and can also just be a space to decompress.
Following on from that, many parents of neurotypical children simply don’t/won’t accept how hard it is to parent a child who has autism and may tell you that you simply aren’t doing it right. This is, of course, nonsense and comes from a place of judgment in most cases and not compassion.
Connecting with other parents of autistic children will allow you to have a group that can understand what you are going through, who will not feel embarrassed if your child has a meltdown in public, and who may even become some of the best friends that you have ever had. So, if you are fed up with your next-door neighbor trying to tell you how her discipline techniques work ‘on all kids when they are bad, ‘it may be worth looking into a support group that is a bit more targeted.
In the US, the psychiatric community in hospitals is very small, more so when it applies to children. So, chances are that if you live somewhere like New York and you are seeing a psychiatrist with your child, all of the adults that you may meet who have autistic children will have probably met them too.
However, if you are new to an area, connecting with other parents can allow you to find out which professionals are the best for helping children that have ASD, thus helping you and your child get fast access to the best treatment.
If you are part of a group of parents who are trying to change things for autistic children, it is more likely to be successful if there is a group of you. By working together, parents can have a greater impact on shaping policies, services, and societal attitudes towards autism and how their children are treated in their local area.