Those living with autism face more challenges than the average person, and some of these struggles have been revealed through various studies. These issues can make it difficult for people to understand what autism is about—and parents are often left wondering what they should say or do when their autistic child is acting up. This list covers 30 things in a parent’s life that might present themselves as unexpected but could help explain why your kid acts out sometimes.
The “can parenting style cause autism” is a question that has been asked by parents of children on the autism spectrum There are 30 things parents want you to know about raising an autistic child.
Despite the fact that one in 68 children is now thought to have an autism spectrum condition, this diagnosis is still widely misunderstood. Simply said, the culture in which we live does not recognize or even tolerate those who are not “neurotypical.” Thankfully, parents of autistic kids are excellent at explaining who their kids are and why. 30 things that parents of children with autism want you to know are listed below.
1. Every kid with autism is unique, and neither are all cases of autism.
The reason autism truly encompasses a broad range of complicated abnormalities in brain development is why it is known as the autistic spectrum. Among these are Pervasive Developmental Disorder “classic” autism, and Asperger’s Syndrome. Communication abilities, anxiety, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors are only a few of the many aspects of autism that vary across kinds. A child with autism should be treated as an individual with his or her unique set of skills and preferences, just like any other child.
2. My child may not look like another autistic child, but it doesn’t imply he isn’t a member of the autism spectrum.
Knowing one autistic kid doesn’t mean much, as one parent put it on the well-known Autism Speaks site since they are all so unique. Please refrain from telling me that my son doesn’t have autism since he resembles no other child you are familiar with who has the disorder.
3. Autism is not always visible.
Regarding the Autism Spectrum, the general public still has a startling amount of misinformation. Many people think that kids with autism have distinctive behaviors or recognizable facial traits. But as has previously been said, every autistic individual is unique, and mild forms of the disorder are widespread. It is often challenging for parents due to these prejudices and a lack of understanding. Because a diagnosis is not always obvious, it is particularly challenging when schools, coaches, or other groups refuse to accept it.
4. Our house is secured for protection.
Baby proofing a home is certainly something you’ve done before. However, families with children on the autism spectrum often have these devices and more to safeguard their kid from the inherent risks in their homes, while most families may remove the safety gates and doorknob locks once the child reaches an appropriate age. This is due to the fact that many kids on the autism spectrum are prone to actions that might result in self-harm.
5. Autism alters how the brain interprets information.
Things that other people often take for granted are processed differently by children on the autism spectrum. Numerous factors, including crowds, loud sounds, and bright or flashing lights, might cause a youngster to become very anxious or have a complete meltdown. When a kid with autism is overwhelmed and maybe creating a commotion, as one parent of an autistic child put it, “it makes things 10 times worse when others around you are giving you ugly glances or making remarks.”
6. Despite not speaking, my youngster has a lot to communicate.
Our highly verbalized civilization is unprepared for the nonverbal members of our population. About one-third of people on the autism spectrum are thought to have speech impairments. However, it would be incorrect to conclude that these individuals lack any thoughts or different points of view. While some autistic kids write or use other means to communicate, others learn sign language.
7. My autistic kid experiences emotion.
Children on the autism spectrum and their parents often deal with the notion that since an autistic kid cannot speak or express their emotions as a neurotypical child could, such feelings must not exist. This assumption is made by other children, other parents, and even instructors. But the opposite is really true. Even silent children can still hear you, as one parent simply puts it. Do not speak to me over my children as if they are not there, particularly if you plan to lovingly praise me for having the fortitude to cope with a terrible circumstance on a daily basis. I’m not perfect. Their mommy I am. She LISTENS TO YOU AND UNDERSTANDS THAT YOU TELL HER TO BE A BURDEN TO ME.
8. Children with autism are not illiterate.
Children with autism have the capacity to be bright beyond belief. They are also gifted, wise, generous, and imaginative. The fact is that the autistic mind is just built differently than that of those who are not autistic, something that a large portion of society fails to recognize. Some people claim that Hans Christian Andersen, Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Michelangelo, Mozart, and Sir Isaac Newton all had autistic tendencies.
9. My youngster is not only defined as “autistic.”
First and foremost, a kid with autism spectrum disorder is a child. Simply said, the child’s autism is a result of whatever that occurred. Try to focus on the person’s distinctive personality, skills, interests, and dislikes rather than the differences resulting from their autism diagnosis.
10. A timetable has no significance for us.
Children on the autism spectrum sometimes struggle to adjust to schedule adjustments. It might be difficult to plan a trip, a weekend getaway, or even a quick trip to the zoo. Even the best-laid plans may fail and result in complete chaos.
11. Let my kid play with your child, please.
According to a research conducted in Australia, 42% of adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum do not feel secure leaving their own homes because they often see people as being unkind to them. This not only causes pain for the people who are impacted, but it also contributes to widespread misinformation regarding autism and stigma. Children with autism like playing with their peers, and being engaged in activities like play dates and sports teams is often beneficial to them.
12. Compared to other kids her age, my child works more.
We do not live in a culture that is tolerant of persons with autism spectrum disorders, as was previously noted. This implies that a child with autism needs to work really hard to function pretty much wherever they go. Parents, teachers, and therapists are all working very hard to support that hard-working youngster. Autism has not been treated in children who behave like their neurotypical classmates. We should all remember that he is merely exerting 100 times more effort to keep up.
13. You don’t have to mention us in every Facebook post on autism.
Parents of children on the autism spectrum are voracious readers of research and take great care to keep up of any developments in the field. They undoubtedly have more knowledge than the ordinary individual. There isn’t a single Facebook item regarding autism that we haven’t seen, according to one parent. Therefore, consider that before you post it and tag us since we’re that buddy with the autistic kid.
14. On a related point, don’t give anybody else any unwanted advise.
This is a significant issue, and parents often mention it. Please refrain from giving a parent who is completely immersed in the world of autism unwanted advice on a subject you probably know very little about.
15. When it comes to our autistic children, we are the experts.
Parents of children on the autism spectrum are particularly true to the adage that “parents know their own children best.” The majority of parents of autistic children have devoted countless hours to research and medical consultation. They are aware of their kids’ tendencies and the best techniques to prevent tantrums. Keep the unwanted parenting advice to yourself, Autism Speaks encourages other parents, adding, “Do ask the family if there is anything you can do to assist, but be prepared for a “no”.”
16. I’m not someone you should feel sorry for because your kid has autism.
Children with autism are producing a wide range of ground-breaking works, including novels, films, blogs, and other media. However, when a parent discloses that their kid has autism, they are often greeted with an unneeded apology or sympathetic expression. Our society’s perspective should alter to reflect the fact that autism is not something to be pitied.
17. As parents, we are not searching for a treatment for autism.
Many neurotypical parents are shocked to learn that parents of autistic children aren’t really searching for a cure. Their child’s autism is an integral part of who they are and how they live; without autism, they wouldn’t be who they are. These parents may do study to discover management strategies (such as diets), but they are aware that looking for a miraculous treatment to completely eradicate autism is, for want of a better term, absurd.
18. We cannot just “find a sitter.”
Typically, parents hire a babysitter when they need a night away. Simple, huh? Not if you’re the parent of a kid who has autism spectrum disorder that is. Youngsters with autism display distinct behaviors than children who are neurotypical. One is that having parents leave is not just upsetting, but also emotionally upsetting. An autistic youngster finds it more challenging to calm down while a babysitter is in charge of the home because of this.
19. Autism is not something that you can “catch” like a cold.
Despite the fact that we now know more than ever before about autism, parents of children on the autistic spectrum often encounter this myth. Autism cannot be spread. Nobody can get it from another individual. That’s all there is to it.
20. I’m not an authority on autism.
There is only one trustworthy source to learn more about autism and what it’s like to be autistic: someone who is autistic. Parents of autistic children may describe what it’s like to share a home with someone who has a disability. Their own kid is something they know well. However, an autistic person themselves is the only one who can describe what it’s like to live with autism.
21. My autistic kid isn’t attempting to be challenging.
He isn’t giving us a hard time, as one mother said about her autistic kid on the well-known website Baby Gaga. He’s experiencing difficulties. When an autistic kid has a meltdown, they are not intentionally acting out. Autism has a complex and broad biology, much of which cannot even be medically detected. Methylation pathways are problematic for children with autism spectrum disorders. Their digestive systems do not effectively absorb nutrition. Their immune system and digestive system are hampered as a result, which causes cognitive problems. An autistic youngster must communicate their grief and anger via behaviors like meltdowns since their brain and body do not always function as one.
22. Please remain composed while my kid is having a tantrum.
Children on the autism spectrum often have meltdowns because they feel overwhelmed by their environment. Therefore, to stop the tantrum and give the youngster a sense of control again, calmness is necessary. The parent will probably be preoccupied attempting to soothe their kid down during a tantrum. The individual waiting to assist shouldn’t go up to the parent and youngster. They may contribute by making the nearby space as tranquil as they can. “Scan the surroundings around the kid for sights and noises that may have contributed to the meltdown,” advises Autism Speaks. Is there a siren that can be turned off? A blinking display that can be momentarily disabled?
23. Please be understanding with my kid.
A wide range of sensory difficulties and meltdowns are often present in children on the autism spectrum. These meltdowns often occur in shops, parks, and other public locations since no one would expect a family with autistic children to remain at home all day. Simply said, parents of autistic children ask that others recognize that their children’s meltdowns are not the result of misbehavior and to be understanding of both the parents and the kid. It doesn’t help to roll your eyes or mumble snarky remarks. It won’t alter the current situation and can potentially make things more stressful for both the parent and the youngster.
24. No, I need to do more than simply reprimand my kid more.
Tantrums are not meltdowns. They are not the consequence of the parent not being strict enough. Kids with autism spectrum disorders experience sensory problems. While one youngster may be a sensory seeker, another may be a sensory avoider. Additionally, physical punishment may not work well for children who have sensory difficulties. For a kid with autism, spanking, time outs, and screaming are often ineffective forms of punishment. Instead, to teach their autistic children norms and limits, parents of children on the autism spectrum use routine and regular exposure.
25. We need affirmation that we are succeeding.
Of course, any parent can relate to this, but parents of children with autism spectrum disorders may relate to it even more. A lifetime learning curve comes with parenting a kid with autism. Parents must stay informed about new treatments and choose if they would be appropriate for their kid as more is discovered about the biology of autism. New supplements, dietary worries, and sentiments for a new buddy or instructor are a few examples. There are several issues that keep parents up at night.
26. Keep making an effort to involve us.
The parents, siblings, and siblings of autistic children are just humans, and individuals prefer to feel like they belong to a group. Continue to spend time with them even if a day with a youngster on the autism spectrum could provide a few extra difficulties. Invite families to the Sunday BBQ, engage in conversation to better understand each other, and take the parents out to supper and an evening out. Ask again later if they respond negatively.
27. We feel so lonely all the time.
It is simple to see why raising a kid on the autism spectrum is a lonely experience for parents for all of the reasons previously mentioned. Parents are always present with their kids. Many will remain with them for their whole lives. That makes it very difficult to join a group of friends. Parents of children on the autism spectrum experience divorce at very high rates. Ask the parent of a kid with autism whether they are OK if you are friends with them. Inquire about their needs and if you may be of assistance. It will do them a lot of good to see that they are not as alone as they may think.
27. Just give us a chance to speak.
It may be challenging and difficult to raise a kid on the autism spectrum, and sometimes parents simply need to vent to a friend. Be kind while you listen if you are the selected friend. The parent is probably just wanting to discuss their struggle; they are not searching for unwanted ideas or suggestions.
28. Autism prevalence is rising.
According to current statistics, 1 in 68 Americans suffer with autism, but that number is likely to rise in the near future. Nevertheless, there is a dearth of knowledge and assistance inside communities, as well as across organizations and companies.
29. Autism acceptance is what we need, not autism awareness.
You’ve undoubtedly seen the “Autism Awareness” t-shirts, bumper stickers, and Facebook postings. However, as parents of children with autism spectrum disorders often point out, autism is recognized in our culture. We need acceptance of autism. Even though one in 68 American children has been diagnosed with autism, autistic people and their families continue to be shunned by society. It will need improvements in service accessibility, affordable health care, job opportunities, Medicaid expansion, fair pay, and more options for high-quality education to become a more inclusive society.
More for Families & Parents:
“How do you avoid having a child with autism” is a question that many parents of children on the Autism Spectrum want to know. The answer to this question is not easy, but there are some things that parents can do to help their child avoid becoming autistic. Reference: how do you avoid having a child with autism.
- encouragement for parents of autistic child
- what to say to a parent with a child with autism
- autism and parenting
- my son has autism
- autistic child only wants mom
Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.