It is not a piece of cake to be the mother of an autistic child. There may be delightful moments, but no one can deny the challenges mothers face, and the toll she takes.
Most mothers of children with such disabilities or chronic health issues sustain abundance. Mothers get sick out of stress, sacrifice her careers, fight even for her daily services, get into a quarrel with the family, and rage at the injustice of it all for her child.
Researchers have studied that there is a considerable high amount of manageable depression and anxiety found in the mothers of children with autism. Helping those mothers and children to function better can lead to more satisfying lives.
Researchers have also found that mothers of children with autism, as compared with mothers of children with other disabilities, suffer most from depressive symptoms and sleep issues. Other family members may also suffer from such symptoms, but to an insignificant extent than mothers.
Having a child with autism is more likely to compromise a mother’s relationships with father, kids, school personnel, relatives, friends and health-care representatives than it is to disturb a father’s.
Furthermore, women in families with an autistic child tends to bear the brunt of everyday burdens and end up responsible for managing the higher levels of conflict in these families, and receive more blame for their child’s behavior. Any of the above reasons could detract a caregiver’s ability to cope from physical as well as emotional stress.
“I have learned so much in the last 21 years of being a friend of a mother of an autistic child. Her children have been her best teachers, who can often offer a perception of what the other siblings are feeling but are unable to say. She always regards me, saying she is blessed to have a wise friend to support her in those early days.” Says Rosie Marshal; Committee member and former Ambassador at Crowd Writer.
So, from her 21 years of experience, if you know someone who has a child with autism, here are ten ways you can help her:
1. Encourage Her
Offering a cheerful talk can help the mother to feel like heaven. Encourage her to seek out every kind of support from educational to social services. When mothers and services collaborate respectfully, it’s a win-win situation.
2. Support Her
Support her to advocate for her child in-house as well as in public. Health-care professionals and schooling staff commonly focus on what the child is unable to do. However, a mother recklessly needs to feel positive and get involved in care to see the strengths as well as constraints for her child.
3. Accompany Her
It is exceedingly comfortable for a mother to meet others in the same boat. The advice can be amassed from local parents’ groups, but if your friend is feeling overwhelmed to take the first step towards individual needs, she may need you to escort her to initial meetings.
4. Be With Her
Strangers’ curiosities for autistic children are usually undesirable, especially for mothers. A snoopy stare or an imprudent remark can be the last straw. Having you by her side to push back an unwanted interest or calm explanations can make a huge difference.
5. Help Her
Being asleep often is a considerable issue for children with autism. Their mother’s physical, mental, and emotional health can also suffer from being asleep for nights. If you know her child well, offer to stay in her house occasionally and be the one to get up in the morning first. Guide her through some tricks to help her reduce routine stress as well.
6. Spare Some Time
Random outing with her husband may allow your friend to invest in her marriage, spend time other children, or recharge her batteries. As it is not a bed of roses for mothers to raise an autistic child without professional help. She may need you to help her with the kid or at least to explore what local services can offer as care.
7. Comfort, the Child
As the child grows, their differences may become more manifest. Behavioral issues may mark them out. Because it draws attention to their child in public, some parents find it embarrassing and try to stop it. However, it isn’t an annoying habit; it often gives a good indication of how the child is feeling. It can show their emotions, and it can comfort or distract them from something unacceptable.
8. Be Prepared
Family gatherings can be tricky with an autistic child. Be on hand with the mother to help her out. You can get a goody bag filled with crayons, spinners, balloons, and stretchy toys to the party. This can be great entertainment. By this, your friend will be able to stay at the celebration, thanks to you.
9. Keep Her Reminding Her Worth
It’s too tricky for a mother of an autistic child to leave home for an evening out. Keep reminding her that she is worth-full and valued not just as a mother but as a person and that her company is very much wanted.
10. Live In Present
Don’t let her plan too far ahead because dealing with today’s problems is quite enough. Spending time worrying about the future will drain her energy for the present. Calm her. Unconditional acceptance is vital for ensuring her happiness.
Most important of all, Let her know that she is doing the best she can for her child. Advise her, instead of agonizing with how, what and if, treasure every moment to have fun with her child.
Stella is a qualified Therapist for people with behavioral issues. She runs her own clinic in LA. She is also a part-time Psychology Tutor at Academist Help and owns a successful blog named Educator House.