50 Things to Know About Raising an Autistic Child

 50 Things to Know About raising an autistic child“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,”

 Dr. Stephen Shore

Autism can be one of the greatest, and scariest journeys of your life! Now, before we begin I have some very important questions to ask. Have you brought your concern, to your Child’s Doctor? Did you ask her the questions; you were asking your computer? If you did (and even if you didn’t) I’ll get you on the right path to overcoming this bump in the road, you just got to remember at the end of the day he or she is still your baby!

O.K, so you think you have an Autistic Child… That’s wonderful! They are extremely rewarding, and extra loving children. It’s amazing the things they are capable of, and how they think! They are truly one of a kind, (especially being they each have their own unique personality). But you knew that, let’s start at the beginning. Autism is a Neurological disorder that affects the brain of a person who is Autistic. It is in no way, shape, or form a disease. It is however, considered a (neurological) disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD, in general can be boiled down to an Autistic child (or person) having their brain wired differently then let’s say…. You or me. Children or other people on the spectrum are known to be highly creative, and can excel at either Math or Art. People with Autism look no different then anyone else, and some go on to live ‘normal’ lives. They’re the ones that are considered to be ‘High-Functioning’ Autistics. On the other end of the spectrum you have the ‘Low-Functioning’ Autistics, people who are considered non-verbal, and extremely shy. The Earlier, an intervention is started for anyone on either side of the spectrum, the better chances they have at becoming High-Functioning, and leading somewhat normal lives.

People with Autism are pretty set in their ways, and follow a strict regimen full of repetition and routine. By breaking a routine or repetition, an Autistic person can become uncontrollable, and violent. It is extremely important that you stick to any routine you come across, not just to spread awareness, but to also keep the peace. It’s also important to know that people on the spectrum, can’t stand loud noises or bright lights. Now that you understand exactly what Autism is, I can help you with understanding what is to happen next. Buckle up people, It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

1. Don’t be a Super Hero

Even though you may feel like Super Woman, (Or Superman), it is important that you realize you aren’t indestructible. Super Woman (or Superman) are fictional characters, that exist in Comic Books, TV Shows or Movies. It’s up to you (as a parent) to protect your children, but unfortunately there are just some things that even Kryptonite can’t stop. Shielding your child from the truth isn’t going to help anyone. Acceptance is the first step in overcoming any obstacle, so why try beating the unstoppable, just accept the fact that your child is special in their own way. It’s not like they asked for this journey, it was given to them.

2.  Remember You’re Not Alone

Do you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? If you do, even in the slightest… Stop it! Seriously, you don’t have to go through this alone. I’m here for you right? Well there are other people who have been where you are, and they understand what your feeling right now. All you need to do is reach out. You’re more than likely on Social Media sites a lot anyway. Just look into Autism groups and you’ll have as many people in your corner as you need. We’re super friendly and we love sharing our experiences. So stop feeling like you have nowhere to turn, because we’re here waiting.

3.  It’s stressful out Here… Isn’t it?

So you started the process of helping your child. It’s like you’re stuck in a whirlwind huh? I need you to listen to me, carefully. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath. You’ve only hit the tip of the Iceberg. Don’t freak or stress yourself out. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. My philosophy is if you don’t feel like you’re running around like a chicken without a head, then you’re not working hard enough. It will get harder, and a lot crazier then it is now, trust me. Just know that you’re in this for your child, and they’re more than worth it, aren’t they?

4.  Just Don’t Forget About You

In the midst of the craziness, you need to remember to take time for yourself. While we become so absorbed in working, and fighting for our children it is easy to put yourself on the back burner. Well move yourself to the front, every once in a while. You don’t have to do anything spectacular to take of yourself either. Read a book, take that Yoga Class, run a bath, just do SOMETHING that caters to you, and your well-being. Don’t feel guilty about it either, you can’t help someone else with our helping yourself first, and by golly you damn sure deserve it!

5. Be Patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be the process of receiving a diagnosis. It could take weeks, months, or even years to finally get someone to say “Your child is Autistic” (especially in the case of a medical diagnosis). Don’t loose hope, stick to your guns. I promise everything will come full circle, you just need to want it bad enough to make it happen. Your child will thank you, and you’ll finally get some satisfaction (and possibly sleep) when it’s said and done.

6. You are Your Child’s Advocate

No one will ever put up a fight for your child like you or your spouse will. It’s important to remember that fact, while your over your head with appointments, and evaluations needed to diagnose, and figure out the best course of action for your child. If you feel certain therapies, or strategies are in need of being assessed, then get out there and make it happen. Doctor’s and other ‘professionals’ seem to forget that no one knows and understands your child like you do. So if you feel that something won’t work, or it will make your child uncomfortable don’t just stand there, stand up and be assertive for the sake of your baby.

Read all 50 Things to Know About Raising an Autistic Child in the book.

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