As a parent, your children stole your heart the very moment they were born. That’s the thing about parenthood. We’re naturally programmed to care of our kids no matter what, and an autism diagnosis doesn’t change that.
However, the initial sting of an autism diagnosis still has its effect, and it can be a very difficult fact to accept. But if you incorporate some strategies, you can learn to navigate the stress better with time and experience. Here’s how:
You will experience a lot of emotions when you first learn of the diagnosis. This may include denial or sadness. Allowing yourself to feel these sentiments can help you work through them so you can get to a place of acceptance and compassion. Ignoring your reality can lead to anger, which may come out in a variety of ways and be directed at those closest to you. If you feel that your emotions are too overwhelming to deal with by yourself, you might want to try therapy.
To be able to effectively take care of your child with autism, you must consistently take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Since life with children with disabilities can be demanding and difficult to manage, it’s important to know how to deal with it constructively. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed, frustrated and angry. But if you concentrate on giving yourself moments of personal time, you can avoid burnout. And as a parent who has a child with special needs, you have even more of a need to reward yourself.
It’s tough when you first get a diagnosis and everyone you know has an opinion about what you should do next. Information you didn’t ask for can seem like an unnecessary burden given to you by meddling know-it-alls. That’s why it’s important to search for organizations and people who can provide you with sound advice and practical feedback. Find a respectful way to distance yourself from the person giving uninformed judgments, and instead seek out those who are knowledgeable about your circumstances.
Letting someone know what you’re going through helps others understand why you may be feeling agitated, depressed or lost. Whether it’s from a friend, a family member, a support group, a therapist or an autism specialist – it’s up to you to find the help you need. Caring for a child with autism is full of challenges, rewards and unique experiences. It’s about making choices, resolving conflicts, finding the best possible solutions for unexpected problems, and providing consistent love and unconditional respect for the amazing individual you’re raising – autism and all.
As always, if you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.
American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.
CONTACT US FOR HELP.
Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].