I can provide you the tools to make Parenting an Autistic Child less stressful.

I can provide you the tools to make Parenting an Autistic Child less stressful.

Parenting an Autistic Child

Parenting an Autistic Child can be extremely stressful.  Fifty years ago, the term “Autism” was relatively unknown. Kids and adults with this disorder simply slipped through the cracks or entered the mental health system under a different diagnosis.  Today, we know that Autism is very real and symptoms appear in a wide spectrum of individuals. Early identification is crucial; yet, Autism is sometimes very difficult to detect early on. Autistic persons often display varying degrees of severity and a unique mixture of symptoms. Parents often wonder, “Is my child Autistic, unique or just difficult?  Obtaining an accurate diagnosis can be challenging.

For example, parents may begin to notice that their child has difficulty getting along with other children? Or they may not recognize established social cues? Or he/she may not communicate in similar ways with other kids their age? Or maybe their child has difficulty establishing eye contact? Depending on the severity of displayed behaviors most parents ask themselves, “What is normal?”

As an undiagnosed Autistic child moves through the school system, certain challenges will begin to arise.  The child may appear to be at odds with their teacher(s), or they could start getting into trouble for talking back, or they may have trouble obeying the teacher’s rules and procedures, etc. When Autistic children go unidentified in our school systems, more than likely, their teachers are not trained or equipped to handle the Autistic child in the everyday classroom setting.

At home, parents may start to detect other behavioral issues as well.  Autistic children most often benefit from a highly structured daily routine, taking comfort in knowledge of what the day holds for them.   Sometimes parenting styles need to shift to best accommodate the child, as Autistic children thrive in nurturing, structured, and peaceful homes.

If you have any concerns about your child’s mental health, seek the help of a professional.  Highly functioning Autistic children often slip by without a proper diagnosis. However, the more you understand and learn about your child behavior patterns, the better prepared you will be to provide the help and resources your Autistic child needs to live happy and vibrant life.

Maya Angelou reminds us, “When you know better, you do better.”  A trained psychologist can shed light on whatever concerns you may about your child, helping you to find the knowledge you need to do the best you can do, and I can help you manage the challenges of raising an Autistic child.

Robin Leigh Maier, LCSW