This is the 3rd post of the short series of posts on Autism Disorder Awareness.Parental Stress!
In my last post I tried to address a very sensitive corner of an individual who could be on the autism spectrum and the struggle or the problems he/she undergoes in her life in different transitional period.In my today’s post I am going to touch the challenges and stress faced by the parents and negligence a sibling experience with the child in Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
- Parents of the children with Autistic Spectrum disorder experience higher level of stress compared to the parents of children with other healthcare needs.
- The entire family of the individual is effected emotionally, physically, socially and financially throughout their life.
- Aggression, stress, irritability, stigma, depression are common incidence of such parents.
- Mangaing the other sibling is another challenging task.
What could be the coping strategies for the parental stress?
- Staying positive is just not a metaphor but a need.
- Collecting more and more information about coping mechanism.
- Staying informed and updated about Autism.
- Do what works for your child, no parenting is right or wrong.
- Join some support group and stay connected with other parents in same situation, it helps.
- Share your feelings with them and listen to them.
- Appreciate every little effort made by your child.
- Let your child meet other autistic children in positive settings.
- Make an education plan for your child, even home schooling is an option.
- Make financial plans with the family.
- Do not give up, whole family has to stand together in this.
Usually in a family with such setting most of the time the sibling feels dejected as whole family pays attention to the autistic child for the obvious reason and sometimes unknowingly and unwillingly parents have to make them second priority.
At the tender age it is difficult for the other siblings to understand the purpose of the actions and again it becomes a challenging task for the parent to strike a balance of affection and attention between the two children demanding different care and concern.
- Siblings feel frustrated as they don’t understand why so much importance is given to the other one.
- Feeling embarrassment in front of their friends.
- They feel sad as parents behavioural approach is different for both the kids.
- Bogged down from the baggage of higher expectation.
Honestly speaking all this is bound to happen and is a part of spectrum. But again a lot of awareness is needed, a lot of mental conditioning is needed right from the early age.
Some tips for managing siblings
- Set aside sometime alone exclusively for the sibling.
- Give rewards and praise to the child, make him feel loved.
- Continuously explain the sibling why the other child needs more attention for all the family member including him/her.
- Try to explain about Autism depending upon the age, show videos and articles.
- Avoid venting out on the child and even if it happens, give a hug and apologize, its ok.
- Involve both the kids in creative activities and try to create a bond, step back for a while to see them getting closer.
Our whole life is a result of trials and errors, fixtures and repairs. What works for you, does not work for me, what seems to be right for you doesnt even work for me and yet we stand here, we wake up daily, we breath in all the possibilities to make it even with our life.
We fight our fear, our inner demons and already are a part of stressful life.To win this challenge called life, but in between somewhere we forget to stay present, to stay aware and be compassionate.
These three posts were just a small attempt on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, with my limited knowledge. I apologize if I have missed any important information and also if I have stated anything which might not sound apt. But my intentions are crystal clear 🙂
Early interventions can change a life.
Reference: From the doctor’s desk of Child Neurology Division, AIIMS, Delhi and Applied Behaviour
Much love and gratitude