You’re finally in the routine of a new school year. You’ve filled out all the paperwork, met your child’s teachers, purchased everything on the school’s supply list, and marked your calendar with important dates.
Take a deep breath and savor the moment.
Then prepare yourself for whatever comes next.
Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty, mother of two sons with ASD and author of Raising Autism: Surviving the Early Years, lists ten things parents can do when raising a student with autism. Five suggestions are listed below; to read the full list visit Autism Speaks.
- If possible, volunteer at school functions. This is a great way to know your child’s teacher and your school’s administrators better. You may also make friends with other parents.
- Get your child out in the community. It can be a struggle, but getting your student out so he can have a repertoire of leisure activities is crucial to his happiness and to your family’s.
- No matter how difficult your child can be, take any offer of babysitting you can get and get out. You need a night off from autism once in a while. Even if it’s for a few hours, a break will help.
- Educate friends and family as to what’s going on in your household. Perhaps you’ve been too tired to talk to people not in the “tribe” about what raising an autistic child is really like. It’s time to tell them and ask for the support you need, even if it’s just an ear to listen.
- Make those doctor appointments for yourself that you’ve been putting off. Just do it.