As a parent, it is common to see you picturing your child growing up, going to soccer games on a Saturday, helping them with math homework, or just enjoying a home-cooked meal on Sunday afternoon. Yes, in theory, parenting sounds easy, but in reality, it isn’t. Parenting is one of the most challenging jobs. 

Being a parent requires a total commitment, 24 hours, 7 days a week, from providing the essentials to helping them grow as an individual. Being a parent of an autistic child requires extra commitment and work, but remember that “all the sacrifices are for them to be happy.” 

When your child has autism, it is natural to be concerned about their future. Don’t worry too much about it; it’s quite natural. Your child has unique requirements, which require a unique approach to parenting. For this reason, we’ve created a small but precise autism 101 for parents.

Learn About Autism

Read up on autism as much as you can. When you have a greater understanding of autism spectrum disorder, you will be better able to make decisions that are in your child’s best interest. It’s important to learn as much as possible about the treatment options, to speak up with any questions you may have, and to actively take part in making any necessary decisions.

Become the Expert

When you have a child that falls anywhere on the autism spectrum, one of your primary goals should be to identify the triggers that cause your child to engage in challenging or disruptive behaviors, as well as the factors that result in a favorable response. What causes stress or fear in your child? What makes them feel happy or relaxed? By learning more about your child’s triggers, you can take steps to alleviate or avoid challenging situations.

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Remember Your Role as a Parent

One might easily feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless list of tasks and duties of raising children. After your child’s diagnosis, you’ll have to take on additional responsibilities beyond being a parent, such as caretaker, therapist, teacher, driver, etc. Remember that, above all else, you are responsible for advocating for your child.

Your role as your child’s advocate is one that will continue throughout their lives. In order to meet your child’s demands, you’ll have to learn new things. It’s your job as a parent to take charge, which means that the onus of duty rests squarely on your shoulders. You must educate yourself as much as possible about autism to be there for your child and how they need it. Given the unpredictability of life, you must take the initiative and prepare for any eventuality.

Focus on the Positive

Autistic children, like any other child, respond strongly to positive reinforcement. It’s important to teach your kid that there are consequences for their actions and that good behavior will always be rewarded. Always show your child that they are loved and valued for who they are. The key is showing them how much you care about and love them.

Be Consistent on a Schedule

Every parent of an autistic child must know the importance of routines. Children with autism benefit tremendously from routines, and their parents benefit just as much from sticking to those routines. The stability and predictability that routines provide will benefit your child greatly. 

The use of schedules helps them anticipate events and prepare accordingly. With the stability that routines provide, autistic children are better able to learn and adapt to life’s inevitable emotional ups and downs.

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asd therapy

Accept Your Child Just As They Are

If you have a child who is autistic, it’s important to remember that acceptance is the key to helping your family thrive instead of dwelling on how your child is “losing out” on life. Appreciate your child’s unique qualities, acknowledge even the smallest of accomplishments, and avoid making unfair comparisons. Your child will benefit more than anything from feeling loved and welcomed without conditions.

Build a Support Group

Please don’t do everything on your own. There are people always willing to help. Being a parent is taxing, exhausting, and demanding, especially when your child has autism. As a result, we recommend that you form a strong support network. Friends, neighbors, parents, babysitters, therapists, and even a support group can help. Individual, family, and couple counseling are also effective in helping your family.

BM Behavioral Center is Here for You!

We are an ABA service provider in Contra Costa County, California. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of children under the autism spectrum through Applied Behavioral Analysis focused therapies. We offer Assessments, Behavioral treatment, and family training.