Raising a Child with Autism: How to Provide and Where to Find Support

Raising a family is difficult no matter what, but when you become the parent of a special needs child, you enter a whole different ballpark.

Although children with autism have incredible strengths, they can also have many difficulties communicating and playing like other children of their age. 

If you are not yet aware whether your child has autism or not, but you think they might have a potential diagnosis, ask your paediatrician to assess the situation.

autistic child hugging a teddy bear

Some tell-tale symptoms of autism include: 

  • Less verbal than other children 
  • Reliance on routines or rules
  • Lack of eye contact 
  • Unexpected reactions to certain smells, tastes, or sounds 
  • Repeated gestures, such as flicking their hands or rocking their bodies 
  • Difficulties understanding the emotions of others 

Another important thing to note is that autism sits on a spectrum. It can range from mild to severe, therefore, it’s important to get a professional diagnosis.

Nevertheless, you should still inform yourself about some of the basic parenting principles that work for children with autism. 

Provide Structure 

First things first, you need to provide a safe yet structured home environment that will encourage your child to thrive. What does this entail exactly?

This includes set times for meals, bedtime, therapy, and school runs . Possible disruptions should be kept at a minimum to create consistency. 

Another way you can make things easier for your child with autism is by clearly labelling things in your home that they should not touch. This is a form of safety proofing which also teaches your children to respect boundaries. 

Join a Therapy Group 

The importance of therapy for children with autism should not be understated. This includes things like speech, behavior, and occupational therapy. You can even create a personalized treatment plan through sites like actionbehavior.com

However, remember that you’re still raising a child, so leave plenty of time for fun activities too. Not only this, but you shouldn’t forget to take care of yourself at the same time.

During this time, you may feel overly stressed or anxious. Don’t be afraid to reach out and speak to a family therapist.

ADS Support Networks 

More often than not, families raising a child with autism get frustrated at the way things are going. You may even think you’re the only one experiencing these issues. However, there are millions of families going through the same thing.

You can reach out to others through the Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Networks. Here, you can exchange tips, arrange meetings, and share experiences. 

Undoubtedly, you’ll need to have a great support network during this time, as you’ll need to adapt your parenting style to fit your child’s needs.

Dealing with a diagnosis can be difficult at first, especially as you learn to navigate and manage their behaviors.

More likely than not, you’ll have to try out a few techniques before you find the perfect parenting style for your kid. It’s important to keep on pushing and never give up.