As a parent of a child of autism it is very easy to get behind a movement such as Autism Awareness Month but a bit harder to figure out how to put this into action. Friends and family of those affected by autism are the least likely to need awareness raising but here are some ways to make the most of Autism Awareness Month.
Reach out to other parents, especially those with newly diagnosed children. Was it difficult and confusing in the early days? Having someone to talk to who has shared similar experiences can be a huge relieve to parents that are getting their heads around an autism diagnosis
Plan a day that you can spend with your child with autism doing exactly what they like to do. If it’s going to the zoo or assembling puzzles, let them know that they can have one day to pick their favorite activities to take part in.
Equally it’s important to do this with your other children too. Give your other children the same opportunity, let them pick how they’d like to spend their special day.
Write down three goals for your child for the upcoming year. Make sure to plan out how you will celebrate each success.
Find a mentor/helper for your child. Your local college is a great place to find psychology and special education students who are happy to help and anxious to learn.
Pledge to make time for yourself each day. As we covered yesterday, caring for a child with autism takes tremendous patience, physical and mental energy – which can sometimes have negative impacts on your health.
Make an effort to be extra nice to your child’s teacher and other service providers. Show them how grateful you are for the work that they are doing for your child.
Imagine how difficult it must be to have autism. Show your child the admiration they deserve.