One of the more difficult things an Autism family can deal with is going out in public. This has nothing to do with shame or being embarrassed. It has to do with not expecting more from a child then they are capable of.
Kids and adults with Autism can often struggle from things like Sensory Processing Disorder and anxiety. These can make going anywhere, very difficult for them. As parents, we don’t want to put our kids through anymore then we have to and so many times, we avoid going places.
While that tends to make life easier in some ways, it makes it harder in others.
I’ve said this a million times but when you’re an Autism parent, problem solving is often very complicated. It’s not easy to find solutions to one problem without creating a new one.
Lizze and I have been doing this for a very, very long time and we’ve learned quite a few things along the way. One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is that Autism parenting requires a great deal of balance.
Finding balance means that we can ensure the needs of our kids with Autism, while still finding ways to live life. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
It’s important to find a balance between shielding our kids from the things that cause them distress, while at the same time challenging them just enough to help them grow and learn to coexist with the outside world.
Every families experience with this will be different and the balance they need to find maybe just as unique.
As an Autism parent, the single most important thing you need to balance out is caring for your kids and caring for yourself.
Self-care is so important because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we are at risk of burnout, Depression, stress levels that are unimaginable and all the physical/emotional health problems that can follow as a result.
Most importantly however, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of our kids, not in the long term. I know that may not come natural to many of us. We have a driving urge to put our kids needs before everything else. That’s well intentioned but sorely misguided.
Sometimes we have to be selfish before we can be selfless. We have to look at Autism parenting as a marathon and not a race. We have to pace ourselves and make sure we can make it to the finish line, wherever that may be.