Parenting a child on the autism spectrum is a challenge. No two children are alike, so the techniques that parents use to help their children may vary greatly. In fact, autism parents discover pretty quickly that coping mechanisms that worked well in one stage of life may not work as well as their children age. Parents who are able to remain flexible tend to cope with the daily changes of autism challenges well.
However, more than anything else, parents should learn to give themselves grace for the ways they adapt to their children's needs.
Stephanie Shultz wrote an amazing piece on The Mighty listing some of the rules she lives by as a parent of a child with autism. This is her second article with "rules" for autism parents which genuinely encourage parents to go with the flow and accept that their life may be more complicated than they might have liked.
In the article, titled, "10 More Autism Parenting Rules I Live by Every Day" she includes these helpful "rules."
- "Autism parents may do anything to avoid a meltdown."
- "You can’t relax because you never know when the school will call."
- "For every hundred foods you offer your child, they may actually eat one."
- "Spontaneous hugs may not be tolerated."
- "Hearing someone say your child “doesn’t look autistic,” may cause your eyes to bug out."
Of course all of the rules in her article may not apply to your parenting techniques, but if even one or two of her thoughts resonate with you, it can be a great reminder that you are not alone in your parenting. Online communities can provide great support to families that include autistic children. Therapists and physicians are also wonderful at offering tips, tricks and empathy.
If you are considering a career supporting autistic children and their families, please contact us for more information on healthcare related job openings in your area. If you are interested in reading more on this and related topics, visit the Mental and Behavioral Health sections of our blog.
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