Children on the autism spectrum have varying levels of functioning. Their behaviors, emotions, and sensitivities are intensified; so for parents, the task of helping and responding to their child’s needs can feel overwhelming and lead to increased stress–which negatively affects things like sleep and appetite.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities provides these tips to help you take care of yourself that will help you better manage your life, especially in stressful situations:
- Don’t feel like you have to do it all yourself.
- Find things that are unnecessary stresses and remove them from your life.
- Share responsibilities with your spouse, family member or close friend. You should be open-minded to asking for help.
- Don’t be intimidates by other parents who seem to “have it all together.”
- Find professionals who are willing to be respectful of your input and keep you updated on your child.
- Find environments that are best suited to you and your child, places that they will not feel overwhelmed, tense, or moody.
- Network with other parents who have children with disabilities and share each other’s resources and support.
- Start your own support discussion group or join a group that matches some of your interests such as a book group, yoga group, etc.
- Have a place to confide your though in, it could be a person, a journal, or any other medium so that you are not keeping in any frustration of worry that can have negative effects on your health.
- Wake up before your child so that you have some time for yourself to make breakfast, shower, and go through your own morning routine. This can also help mornings go alot smoother.
These tips are an important part of caring for your child. Many parents found that once they started reaching out for the right support, other challenges in their life seemed more manageable and were able to cope in a more productive way.
For more resources on family coping, click HERE