It Takes a Village: Support for Parents of Children with Autism
- Category: Mental Health
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If your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you likely have many questions, concerns, and fears about how to ensure you are doing everything possible to support them. As a parent, you may also need support to better understand, cope with, and alleviate your child’s symptoms.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by a wide range of symptoms that vary in severity, including challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism currently affects approximately 1 in 36 children in the United States. As a parent, navigating your child’s diagnosis, ensuring they have the help they need, and adjusting your lifestyle and routine to accommodate your child’s challenges can be difficult, stressful, and exhausting. You may feel guilty or helpless. It can have a negative impact on your mental wellness, which will only make it harder for you to properly meet your child’s needs. If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, there are many resources available and ways to receive support on your journey.
Parenting a child with autism can cause many mental health issues, including depression or anxiety. One-on-one counseling with a mental health professional can provide an outlet to discuss frustrations, learn coping skills, and work through any negative emotions you may be experiencing.
Parents of children with autism deal with many unique challenges that only other parents of children with autism will understand. There are many support groups available, both in-person and virtually, such as NJ Autism Warriors, to share stories and advice with other parents who are going through many of the same struggles.
Educating yourself is one of the most important ways to help your child. Many autism organizations, such as Autism Speaks, offer a wide range of helpful resources and tools on their website to learn more about autism symptoms, financial aid, afterschool programs, and treatments.
There are many informative helplines in New Jersey, such as 1 (800) 4AUTISM, that connect families with experts who can provide important information about state resources, special education, and other types of available support in the area.
The following organizations offer parents of children with autism access to a variety of resources, including educational tools, helpful guides, support groups, coaching, assessments, and outreach events.
• Den Autism
If your child was recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, we can support you. Our compassionate mental health professionals offer one-on-one and family counseling, medication management, and group therapy opportunities in a comforting, nonjudgmental setting so that you never have to feel alone. For more information about LiveWell Counseling, please call (201) 848-5800 or visit ChristianHealthNJ.info/LiveWell.