Support for the Caregivers
As it is stated on the Autism Society’s website, “A child’s autism diagnosis affects every member of the family in different ways. Parents/caregivers must now place their primary focus on helping their child with ASD, which may put strains on their marriage, other children, work, finances, and personal relationships and responsibilities. Parents now have to shift much of their resources of time and money towards providing treatment and interventions for their child, to the exclusion of other priorities.”
Those who care for children coping with Autism Spectrum Disorder have a gargantuan duty made up of innumerable smaller tasks. Every day offers up a new challenge for autism caregivers, and at times, parents can feel alone and without resources in their daily efforts. However, there are many methods for coping with your child’s diagnosis and handling the day-to-day minutia of caring for that young one.
One of the best resources a caregiver can utilize is autism support groups. According to HealthTalk.org, “These groups offered a place for parents to share experiences, to get information and advice, to make friends and, in some cases, campaign for better services and provision for their children.” Having a group of people to turn to when you have questions or feel frustrated is so crucial to your success as a caregiver. The National Autism Association hosts support groups through the country.
Furthermore, the National Autism Association offers a long list of recommended reading for caregivers. Having a better, more in-depth understanding of autism and what your child experiences will help you be a better caregiver. Start off with a book that covers autism as a whole, such as Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons For Hope and Guidance For Help by Lynn M. Hamilton. From there, explore the numerous other topics that relate to autism, like nutrition and family dynamics, to develop a knowledge base for coping and dealing with the various curve balls that will likely get thrown your way.
Technology can also assist caregivers of autistic children with the numerous downloadable apps available. The Autism Speaks organization offers an alphabetically-organized database of autism apps. These apps address everything from math skills to organizational techniques. Whether you’re working with your child on communication or social skills, there’s an app that can help you with your efforts.
A parent who has taken on the role of caregiver to a child with autism knows challenges, heartache, and struggles most of us could never imagine. While there are many website resources available with just a few clicks of a mouse, caregiving parents must invest the time into helping themselves as they help their autistic children. Explore what support groups have to offer, read up on the topic, and try some outside-the-box techniques to assist you with this massive undertaking. The more you inform yourself, the stronger you can be for your child.