5 Self-Care Tips for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

It’s the nature of parenthood to put your child’s needs before your own. If your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this tendency becomes even more pronounced. Many parents will move heaven and earth to make sure that their children get the care and support they need.

As much as you want to smooth the path for your child, however, it’s important to take time to care for yourself. You can only take the best possible care of your child when you’re taking the best possible care of yourself.

We’ve assembled five tips to help you do just that. Have a look at the list below, and remember that you’re never alone in your journey. The community – including SEED Center of Stamford – is always here to help.

 

1. Ask for help when you need it.

“It takes a village to raise a child.” This is every bit as true for children on the spectrum as it is for children not on the spectrum. Don’t be afraid to ask family members and friends for extra help when you need it. You are not in this alone.

 

2. Research community resources.

This goes hand-in-hand with asking for help when you need it. There are many resources available in the community designed to help children with ASD and their parents, from agencies that provide respite care to therapists, school resources, and much more. The more you know about what help is available, the better you’ll be able to access it when you need it.

 

3. Consider joining a support group.

There is no one who understands the unique joys and challenges of parenting a child with ASD like another parent of a child with ASD. By joining a support group, you can air your concerns and discuss the challenges of parenting a child with ASD in a safe, non-judgmental environment. (This doesn’t have to be an in-person support group. There are many online forums and communities where parents of children on the spectrum can gather and support one another.)

 

4. Make modifications to your home.

Children with ASD are very sensitive to their environments, especially light, color, and sound. Learn what stimuli your child responds best to and which stimuli cause your child distress. Then, modify your home to enhance the positive stimuli and downplay the negative. This will help your child stay calm and content at home, which can help the entire family.

 

5. Remember the joy.

Parenting a child with ASD isn’t only a challenge – it’s also a joy. Focus on the positives as much as you can. Take pride in your child’s accomplishments. There’s no one else quite like your child. That’s something to celebrate!