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27 Things I’ve Learned from Having a Child with Autism

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.

13. Autism parents make a difference in their communities.

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.

25. A piece of paper can be very powerful.

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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Jenny Herman

Jenny Herman wants to live in a world where dark chocolate dispensers reside on every corner.

As a homeschooling special needs mom, she’s been featured in Autism Parenting Magazine, Wit and Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids: Mostly True Stories of Life on the Spectrum, and various blogs.

If she survives the onslaught of testosterone in her home, she may take a moment to blog, read a book, try a new recipe, or loom knit a gift.

You can find Jenny’s book The Power of One: Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life on Amazon.

11 thoughts on “27 Things I’ve Learned from Having a Child with Autism

  1. I am learning to look for the root of the behavior. What would be willful defiance in a NT child may not be in my ASD or FAS child.

    Internet friends can be real friends and a life line when being out in the world just is not realistic.

    God is not surprised by my children’s struggles and He give grace in abundance for our lives.

    Blessings to you and your family! Thank you, as always, for your insight and encouragement.

  2. My grandson has Autism. I am so happy my daughter knows the Lord, is a Believer because I know His faithfulness to her. Most days she looks drained and stressed. Yet the Lord gives her grace, a renewed spirit, rest in Him and endless patience. She is a self-less woman to her whole family. It certainly isn’t easy any day. The Lord could not have given my grandson a better, or more perfect Mother. My grandson is a joy and very precious to me. When we play together I am in whatever world he is in. He feels things alot of adults don’t. As sad as it can be sometimes;seeing through the eyes of an Aspie, alot of times it is a blessing that touches your heart. Many times I rather be with him than my adult friends. Thank you Jesus for my little guy.

  3. I’ve learned to embrace the abnormal in public because we aren’t alone and sometimes our atypical ways of doing things make others smile because of their own struggles at home.

    That We all have some sensory issues however normal we think we are 🙂

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