According to the latest statistics, 1 in 88 children are on the autistic spectrum, including 1 in 54 boys. It’s a disorder that’s still not entirely understood, and even within the community of parents of children with autism and educators who work with them, there are still disagreements about what therapies and treatments work best. For parents, finding ways to help with everything from diagnosis to coping is vital.
Raising children is financially difficult for many families, but particularly for parents of children with autism. More than forty percent of families with a child with special needs report experiencing significant financial stress. Thirty percent of parents of children with disabilities quit their jobs or significantly cut back in order to provide care for their child. This isn’t anything new to those of you who are experiencing these life shifts. However, how do you balance the challenges of caring for your child as well as paying all the bills sufficiently?
Stress is common in any family. But in a special needs family, it is alarmingly common. In fact, many parents suffer from post-traumatic stress and health problems secondary to stress. Parenting a child with special needs brings with it many additional challenges—compared to parenting a “neurotypical” child—such as behavioral problems, educational issues, additional financial pressures and the effect on siblings, to name a few. However, there is good news: you can learn to better manage stress and when you do, the entire family benefits.
Parents of children with Autism manage an assortment of different elements every day. From keeping countless documents and battling with school systems for their child’s rights, to dealing with a lack of sleep and meltdowns, it’s enough to exhaust even the most patient of parents. Additionally, when others label Autistic children or they say things before really understanding Autism at all, it can create frustration and cultivate pain and anger for parents. Here are a few things parents of Autistic children want you to know so you have a better understanding:
Raising a child with special health care needs can be a complex and demanding job. You manage your child’s wellbeing and development while maintaining the rest of your family’s life. It’s tough and exhausting.
And what about school? You know that your child can benefit from the right program and caring, hard-working educators. Yet many parents say there is little information about how to manage their child’s ongoing health care needs in relation to their life at school.
Continue reading “Parents of Kids with Special Health Needs: How to Work with the School System”