As a mother caring for a child on the Autism spectrum, I’m always asked how I cope with the many challenges of ASD. If you’re on the same boat as me, you already know that ASD parents rarely have time for self-care. However, I’m here to tell you that you SHOULD BE taking care of yourself! With the numerous ASD interventions your child or loved one requires daily, it is imperative that you stop and take a breather. Trust me when I say you cannot continue to advocate for your loved one if you are not taking care of your mental health. Studies show that parents of children with ASD suffer higher stress and anxiety rates than parents of neurotypical children.
Caretakers need all the love and support of family and friends. If you know someone who is caring for someone with ASD, this is your call to step it up. Show that you care by learning as much about Autism. Another way to be supportive is to listen without judging. Parents dealing with ASD are already emotionally and physically drained; the last thing we need is people telling us how we could do a better job. Show us that you care by spending time with our children and accepting the things that make them unique. If you’re feeling up for it, ask us to watch our kids so that we can get some time to unwind. In my experience, it’s the smallest gesture of kindness like a Starbucks that gives me that extra push to keep going.
Autism can make families feel isolated. If you have friends or relatives going through this journey, always remind them they are not alone. Together, we can continue advocating and spreading awareness for the Autism community. To the parents reading this, never forget you are the driving force behind your child’s success! You need to recharge and refuel regularly to continue the race. Take that break! Your children will appreciate it too!
Are you someone on the Autism Spectrum? I would love to hear from you on how we can be more supportive. Comment down below!