For most parents, discovering that their child has autism can be devastatingly painful. Unfortunately, however distraught the parents may be, they have to act fast. Being a parent, you simply don't have the time to scrutinize as to how this thing could happen. At this point, the only thing you have to think about is what to do next. Remember, these things do happen. But know, too, that you are not the only one struggling with this problem. There are lots and lots of people going through similar situations. You just have to research about the disorder and you will find that many people are finding ways to deal with their autistic child.
Why not join an autism support group for parents? The National Autism Society of America provides information about these groups. They have local branches which have support groups for families and parents with autistic children. Getting together with other parents undergoing similar situations can help you feel that you are not alone. Likewise, they can also help provide you with resources and guides on how to handle autism.
A support group can also help you get in touch with the best doctors, family workshops, and intervention programs for both your family and your autistic child. However, you must remember that your other children must also learn how to live with and communicate with an autistic sibling. It is necessary, therefore, that you let them join a local support group for children. You should also explain to them what autism is, and how they can help their sibling. It is important that you, as parent, create an environment for the whole family that will properly support and have better grasp of your child's autism.
If you are married it might be helpful if you and your spouse undergo marriage counseling. It is normal for a marriage to experience difficulties specially in rearing an autistic child. There would be increased arguments and tendencies to neglect one another while one is caring for the child. You may even start blaming each other for the situation that you are in. Marriage counseling, therefore, can help you get through this difficult transition specially from the very beginning. This could also help both of you build a better supportive and more relaxed environment for your children. Having an autistic child should not be the cause of the end of your marriage, though sadly, this is the case with a lot of marriages failing. You can avoid this by seeking the help of a marriage counselor and also using one another for support.
The best thing that you can do for your family is to start learning about autism, and eventually become an expert in dealing with it. It is a fact that many pediatricians or psychiatrists are not very knowledgeable about autism and so sometimes they can give inaccurate diagnoses or treatment options. As parent of an autistic child, it is in your child's best interest (and yours, too) that you learn everything you can about autism. One thing to always keep in mind is that a support group of parents of autistic children can always help provide you with books and other resources to help you get a better grip on the reality of your situation.
Autism need not be an unbearable burden for you family. There are lots of ways you and your family can cope with this situation. Consult with Dr. Sharmistha Barai to learn more about Autism symptoms, causes, and other related disorders.
Sharmistha Barai is a Child & Adolescent psychiatrist based in Saint Louis, Missouri and can help you or anyone you know dealing with depression to find effective, medically-proven techniques to deal with the disease and other disorders.
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