Parenthood teaches everyone something. Special needs parenting teaches you things you wouldn’t learn otherwise. Autism stretches me. Autism wears me out. And, yes, I even experience happiness because of autism.
Want to know what I’ve learned from being an autism parent? Read on.
1. People with autism are strong. I wrote about this over at my friend Jennifer’s blog.
2. Autism parents are strong, too. It’s not easy.
3. God gives grace.
4. Bad behavior is not always bad. Sometimes there are explanations and a child is asking for help via his behavior.
5. Don’t ask more than one question at a time. Even if your child on the spectrum is listening when you start, multiple questions cause confusion.
6. It’s ok to ask for help, even from people you don’t know very well.
7. There are some really great people out there.
8. In the midst of appointments, therapy, stress, etc., remember to hug your child and have fun times, too.
8. A lot of special needs parents connect online because it isn’t possible or available otherwise. #Youmightbeanautismparentif is still going strong on Twitter!
9. Patience is more than a virtue. It’s a necessity.
10. Special needs parents need to stick together. Sure, we can respectfully disagree over treatments, but why bicker with those who understand your life more than most?
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11. Each person with autism is different.
12. Patience is a virtue, but sometimes you’ll lose it. Ask forgiveness, forgive yourself, and start over.
14. Special needs siblings are a breed of superhero.
15. You need to think of all the steps involved in a task, even something as simple as making sure a bathtub plug is not pushed down when taking a shower.
16. Autism changes a parent. They’re not who they used to be.
17. People with autism do feel emotions. In fact, most of them feel it more strongly than their peers.
18. Often what we think is the reason for a certain action is not the reason.
19. Autism does not have a one-size-fits-all treatment or therapy.
20. Children with autism want friends and are social, too. They may not have the appropriate skills to show it, but they do.
21. I need to give my child more space to try, and yes, to fail so he can learn problem solving.
22. Everyone’s normal is different. And that’s ok.
23. Special needs parents are detectives, nutritionists, interpreters, and so much more.
24. God loves my child more than I do.
26. Try, try again. And again.
27. Celebrate victories, no matter how small they seem.
And for a bonus…
28. Don’t be so quick to judge kids and parents. You never know what’s going on. (I used to judge those tantrums myself, so I can say that….)
Are you an autism parent? What have you learned?
Remember to grab my super-duper ebook of survival tips for special needs parents! Just click the picture below and I’ll send it to you for FREE!
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