|written by Jonas Dimaculangan 02/18/2017
What is Autism? Autism spectrum order (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes.
Besides focusing on the child’s suffering from autism, there is another suffering and pain that comes with it and it is the parent’s sadness and hardship. Parents have big dreams for their children. The mother and the father take good care of each other while the baby is still in the mother’s womb. They are excited about the gender of the baby, what name they will give, and motivated to work even harder to provide a better future for their children. And then the hardship of giving birth comes in which every mother knows. They go through hard labor to give birth to their kids and feel extreme happiness once they get to see their babies and be able to touch, hug, and kiss them.
It is truly a devastating feeling for a parent to know that their kid has Autism. One source from a person close to me shared his perceptions regarding their daughter’s disorder. “I feel destroyed from the inside just by thinking about my daughter’s suffering. How I wish that I could just take it all from her and I will be the one to deal with all of it”. But the situation clearly will change their lives forever. Caring for an autistic child is difficult because as we all know, they cannot live alone for the rest of their lives. It requires constant attention and cares for people who have Autism. They do not have the capability to think clearly. It is important for parents to pace themselves in accepting the situation and find ways to cope with the problem more effectively.
We know that it is not that easy to accept a situation like this. But the time will come when there will be no other choice but to accept it and deal with it. I think that one of the most very important steps in dealing with Autism is acceptance. We could gain strength from acceptance and it could clear our thoughts to be able to adjust ourselves to this new reality that we have to face. By accepting the situation, it will be clear that we cannot do most of the things that most people do although the love for the kids will never go away and it will just get stronger as time passes. After talking to the person that agreed to give information about their situation, I summarized what he said and breakdown some tips in dealing with a child that has Autism. They are:
1. Do not be afraid to ask for help
– It is important to always remind ourselves that we are not alone in this. There are institutions and government agencies that could help us emotionally and financially. Having an autistic child requires regular medications and check-ups and it could drain our bank account real fast that is why it is important to look for financial help. It is also important to look for emotional support to be able to stay strong.
2. Explain to your kids the situation
– There will be times that siblings will be jealous about the attention that parents give to their autistic child. It is important to explain to them the situation so they could understand and be able to help in ways that they can and not rebel and look for love somewhere else.
3. Do not forget about yourself
– Remember that dealing with this kind of situation will even be more difficult if we do not take care of ourselves. We could get sick, depressed, and tired and it could be another problem if we do not look out for ourselves. It is important to make sure that our emotional and physical health is in good condition by eating right, getting enough rest as much as possible, and release stress through exercise.
4. Stay positive
– Try to be able to stay positive at all times and just shower your autistic child with love and care and try to enjoy every moment you have with each other. Every child is a gift from God and it is every parent’s responsibility to raise them and love them unconditionally.
What is autism? www.autism-society.org/what-is/