Now that you have an Autism diagnosis it is important to begin creating your support system by educating your family so that they can better understand and help support you in this journey.
After receiving an Autism diagnosis it is important to create your support system through educating your family.
Teaching them will help them to better understand your child and be better equipped to help you when needed.
Educating on Autism
Though more and more people are aware of Autism, there are still a lot of misconceptions, making education extremely important.
Your family may not know what Autism looks like or they may possibly have a skewed idea of what it is.
Statistics show that 1 in 50 school age children are affected by Autism.
Making matters more difficult is that no two Autism cases are the same, and every family faces different and varying challenges.
Explaining this to family members and extended family members so that they are able to understand there is no manual for handling Autism is helpful.
In order to empower family members to feel that they are able to assist you when needed, begin with basics.
Educating on Behaviors
A great place to start is educating family members on the basics of Autism.
Austism Spectrum Disorder is a brain-based, developmental condition.
Children with Autism have communication difficulties, limited interest and repetitive behaviors just to name a few of the challenges.
Children with Autism often have sensitivities to taste, touch, sight and sounds.
Often they will only eat certain foods with particular textures.
Explaining behaviors your child may exhibit and the possible triggers can help prepare family members.
Another important thing to let them know are ways they can try to connect with your child.
Ways your support system can connect with your child.
Let them know things that your child enjoys and what they do not care for.
Giving them ideas on ways they can connect through what your child enjoys.
For instance, our son loves sports of all kinds and is a wizard with sports statistics.
A great way to connect with him would be by watching sporting events on television and then spend time talking about them.
Do they love playing board games, matchbox cars or video games?
More times than not my son doesn’t want to play with me, he just wants me in the room near him at all times.
These are ways to find a connection with them, on the other side of that is educating your family members on what your child does not care for.
Teaching them your child’s dislikes.
Equally as important as likes is educating your family members on what your child dislikes.
Often times when an Autistic child is exposed to something they don’t like it will bring on a tantrum episode.
Those on the outside can think this is due to poor discipline when in fact it is not.
Please never judge when you see a Momma with a child having a major meltdown because you do not know their story.
These behaviors go along with their diagnosis and often are things that may seem small and insignificant to us.
Everyone with ASD is different and it is important that you know specific things to educate your family members on.
Creating your support system
The saying goes, “it takes a village” and that is so true when raising children.
It is our job as parents to advocate for our children and part of that is educating ourselves and others.
You are not meant to do this alone.
You will need respite and time alone with your spouse in order to be the best you can be for your child.
I understand that not everyone has a support system close by; as I am that person.
If you are a special needs family without a support system it is important to find a support group.
Including extended family members in regular activities that your child or your family enjoys will enable them to get a wider view of Autism.
If you attend support group meetings, take extended family members or friends that are part of your support system with you.
This gives them the opportunity to grow their knowledge and get rid of misconceptions they may have about Autism.
If you have a particular book that you feel would help them understand more, that would make a great gift for them.
The level of importance in creating your support system by educating family members on your child’s Autism diagnosis is high.
This is a lifelong journey and it is important that you not feel like you have to do this alone.
Remember that every person with Autism have many differences so your education may look different than mine.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started on creating your support.
You and your family may need more resources , if so, click here for a blog post from last year.
If you have some suggestions that have worked for you, please share, you never know who you may be encouraging.
Till next time,