All parents, whether autistic or not, need support. People often say, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, and this is no less the case for any parent, regardless of who they are.
But if you’re an autistic parent or ‘parent to be’, and feeling unsure about your capabilities, or wondering if you have what it takes, we have a few tips for you, from our own experiences.
Trust your own experiences
Your own experiences that you have gained from life will help you no end, especially when it comes to being the parent you are. Your experiences will help you make decisions and find ways to support your children the best way you can. If your children are also autistic, you’ll have the added benefit of understanding how life can be through autistic perspective.
Seek out support from other autistic parents
The best mentors for autistic people are other autistic people – search for autistic parenting groups online or find a local group who can support you through your journey. Parent groups give you the chance to share experiences, ask questions, and be supported through the day to day ups and downs.
Note: be sure to look for autistic parent groups rather than autism parent groups if you are seeking parents who are actually autistic themselves.
What if my children aren’t autistic?
See it as an opportunity for you and your children both to help each other to learn more about how different people think and see the world. Share your own experiences and learn about theirs.
If you like, you can also find a mentor to help you through some of the more challenging aspects of parenting and to support you with ideas for growing your parenting skills
Look after your own needs
Whether you have need for a certain routine, sensory support or for assistance with communication or social interactions, make sure you take care of these needs – and seek out help for ensuring you can meet your personal needs. If the sensory onslaught of noise from children is overwhelming, try using earmuffs or noise cancelling headphones to support yourself. Remember, you can meet your own needs and still be an amazing parent – you just might do it differently to others!
Written by Elissa Plumridge
You can watch the video HERE