- How Does Having an Autistic Child Affect the Parents? Center
- Autism Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Autism Quiz.
- Parenting Principles Slideshow Pictures
Parenting is associated with various challenges. Being a parent to a child with special needs may further add to the task. Whether your child has special physical, mental or emotional needs, it may be quite overwhelming for you. Similar is the case with parenting an autistic child. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comprises a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. It is a type of developmental disability affecting about 1 in 54 children in the United States. Developmental disabilities cause impairment in physical, learning, language or behavior areas. Generally, autistic children do not have any distinct physical features that would set them apart from other people. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, the extent to which a child is affected may vary. The affected children have varying degrees of problems with the way they communicate, interact, behave and learn.
A child with autism essentially has the same basic needs as any other child. They need healthy food, good rest, adequate sleep, physical activities, regular dental and health check-ups and most importantly your love and care. An autistic child, however, may express and interact in ways you find difficult to understand or be comfortable with. For example, headbanging in an autistic child may be a sign of feeling unwell or hungry. Having an autistic child affects the entire family although it is usually the parents who are affected the most. Children with ASD may have complex needs that may require considerable financial, physical and emotional investment. This may cause a lot of stress on the parents. Focusing on the autistic child may create challenges for other relationships. The parent or caregiver may at times need to forget their ambitions and career goals to ensure their child gets the necessary care. Here are a few suggestions that may help parents or caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder:
- Take a break from the stress to ensure your and your family’s well-being.
- Accept help from your family and friends even if it is just having someone who listens.
- Join support groups for parents of children with ASD. You may also join online groups or follow blogs, vlogs or pages that provide helpful content. Sharing experiences, including challenges and solutions, truly helps.
- Consider taking some courses that may help with parenting autistic children. Educating yourself about your child’s condition will put you in a better position for managing it.
- Take regular breaks every day no matter how short they are and do what relaxes you. It may be painting or a short walk. Do not feel guilty for having some “me time.”
- Explain to family members and your other children the difficulties your autistic child has. This may help them understand your situation better and provide the support you need.
- Do not be overindulgent. Your autistic child needs space and autonomy as well. Let them be on their own when they are in a safe environment. Let them explore and learn.
- Seek help from a professional when needed. If you or your partner are overly stressed, depressed or overwhelmed, seek a qualified therapist’s help.
- Making your child with ASD understand their condition is also important. You need to do it at the right time and in the right way. Discuss with your doctor how to communicate it to your child.
- Seek financial aid for caregivers of children with special needs.
To provide the best care for your child, you need to care for yourself as well. Do not hesitate to seek help or invest time in your health. Maintain a journal to write about your challenges, failures and triumphs. Share stories with people with similar challenges.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?" https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html
Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review: "Parent and Family Impact of Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review and Proposed Model for Intervention Evaluation." https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22869324/
Top How Having an Autistic Child Affects the Parents Related Articles
At What Age Is a Parent Not Legally Responsible?Parents have a responsibility for their children until a certain age. Find out what age this is and what is expected of you.
Autism Spectrum DisorderAutism in children and adults is a developmental disorder, characterized by impaired development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. Autism is classified as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), which is part of a broad spectrum of developmental disorders affecting young children and adults. There are numerous theories and studies about the cause of autism. The treatment model for autism is an educational program that is suitable to an individual's developmental level of performance. There is no "cure" for autism.
Autism SlideshowWhat is autism? Learn about the signs, symptoms, and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Get information about the causes of autism and available autism treatment options.
Autism Screening and DiagnosisAutism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis requires two steps -- developmental screening and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Develpmental screening helps tell if children have delays. Comprehensive diagnostic evaulation may include looking at the child's behavior and development and interviewing the parents. It may also include hearing and vision screening, genetic testing, neurological testing, and other medical testing.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) FAQsAutism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental disorders that do not appear to be linked to vaccines. More people than ever are being diagnosed with an ASD, including adults. Children with autism may receive special education services. A child with an ASD may or may not have a mitochondrial disease.
Autism QuizTake the Autism Spectrum Disorder Quiz related to the causes, reasons, symptoms, treatment, diagnosis, and therapies for this behavioral disorder.
Can You Be a Little Autistic?No, there is no such thing as being a little autistic. Many people may show some characteristics of autism from time to time. This may include avoiding bright lights and noises, preferring to be alone, and being rigid about rules. This does not make them autistic.
Differences: Autism and Pervasive DevelopmentPervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) are a set of behavioral disorders that are present since early childhood. Although there is an overlap in the features of autism and PDDs, PDDs typically do not meet “all” the criteria for classical autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Both PDDs and autism cause a “socially awkward child.”
Autism: Early Signs and SymptomsAutism is known as a condition that falls under the category of the "autism spectrum disorders" because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior of an individual. Autism is said to be a "developmental disorder" because the signs and symptoms of the disorder generally appear in the first two years of life. However; toddlers, teens, and adults also can have autism.
Early signs and symptoms can vary amongst infants, babies, toddlers, teens, and adults that may include; no eye contact, not responding to his or her name; doesn’t babble or “baby talk”; does not use language correctly; rocking; twirling; and head banging.
Early Signs of AutismAutism is a developmental condition in which the brain does not process the sounds, sights, and smells like an average person. This results in behaviors that are considered socially awkward.
Is Dyslexia the Same as Autism?Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty interpreting words, pronunciations, and spellings. Autism or autistic spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder where the brain processes sound and colors in a manner different from an average brain.
What Are the 3 Main Symptoms of Autism?Autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) can manifest as different symptoms in different children. The average age of diagnosis is 2 years, though some children may be detected at around the age of 5 years.
What Tests Are Done to Diagnose Autism?Autism is a brain disorder that makes it difficult for an individual to interact with others or communicate well. It usually shows up during a child’s first three years of life, and it can be seen in some babies; however, rarely, it may not be diagnosed until a person is an adult.