Monday, October 26, 2009

7 Tips for Raising a Child with Autism...and a Promise

Tip 1 - Changing the Environment - When we have a child with autism many times we spend time looking for the reasons why a behavior may be occurring. In the process of looking for reasons we sometimes overlook the easy solutions to the problem. One of the solutions is to change the environment to meet the child’s needs.

Tip 2 - Look for Free Services – A parent is going to use every resource available to help their child. They need to stop and take a breath. It takes extra work to look for free resources but this will help preserve their insurance for as long as possible. Insurances have caps that may limit the amount of services. They also have co pays that can figure into a formula that determines how much help your family can get.

Tip 3 – Is the Behavior the Result of Their Age or Their Disability- Many times parents are discouraged because they believe a particular situation or behavior will go on forever. If you have older children you might be able to compare where this child is in the process of growing up. If you do not have older children ask someone who does! As a matter of fact you may want to ask someone anyway. It helps to consult with someone who has a little distance.

Tip 4 – Is It Reasonable or Fair- If you run into a situation or a decision you think is unfair say something. Your child has no one else but you. You have to stretch out of your comfort zone and say something.

Tip 5 – Do Not Give Up – Everyone becomes discouraged at times. You can do this. I know many mothers who never thought they could and they are doing it. They are raising a child with autism are all the time.

Tip 6 – What Other People Think Does Not Matter – My child has melted down in a grocery store and a restaurant. Of course I thought about all the people who looked at me disapproving or even made comments. It is easy for people who do not know what is going on to judge. Sometimes I explained and sometimes I didn’t. And it was OK either way.

Tip 7 – Not All Children with Autism Are Alike – Sometimes what works with one child does not work with another. Along this some thought sometimes one thing works with one child with autism and sometimes it does not work with the next child. That is just the way it is.

And the promise – Your child with autism will make you the person you will become. You will be stronger, smarter, and more creative than you ever thought possible.

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