Parenting can be one of the most challenging jobs, regardless of whether
or not your child has more quirks than others. If you are a parent of
an autistic child, you may run into unique challenges and obstacles that
an average parent doesn’t. The good news is that you are not alone.
Countless parents get the privilege and joy of raising an autistic child
throughout the world, providing great means for support, insight, and tips.
In this case, the counsel comes not from a parent, but from a young woman
who was recently diagnosed with autism at the age of 21. Featured in the
Wall Street Journal and author of her own blog,
Autism Speaks, Lydia Wayman was actually relieved to find out why she felt like she
never fit in and had so many unexplained quirks. To her, finding out she
was autistic put her on the road to self-acceptance. Now, she provides
tips for parents dealing with their autistic child that she believes can
make the process more rewarding.
Ms. Wayman’s Tips for Parenting Autistic Children
- Create a list of the things you love about your child and share it with
someone else to develop further fondness and tenderness for them.
- Allow your child to obsess about their favorite thing rather than trying
to curb this quirk. In fact, parents are encouraged to share in their
- Cut back on their choices, whether it be with wardrobe, toys, or activities.
Instead of battling over colors, materials, or dreaded events, just narrow
down the options.
- Try to develop alternative means of communication with your child, from
sign language to text-to-speech, in order to better understand complex
ideas. Ms. Wayman herself prefers writing out ideas.
- Always believe the best of your child and presume that they are competent
enough to learn whatever they set their mind to, whether academic or not.
- Try to stay away from judging the success of a day by how many vegetables
they ate, words they spoke, or compliance they showed. Instead, shoot
for a happy, healthy child who is unique and proud.
While autism can be very diverse depending on the child, there is one thing
that Ms. Wayman makes clear: meeting your child where they are at and
accepting them for who they are is vital. Being willing to enter their
world and not just experience it, but it enjoy it with them is one of
the most important steps of being a parent of an autistic child.
Whether you are seeking insight on co-parenting an autistic child through
divorce or need help while navigating a heated marital situation, Center
for Mediated Divorce is here to help.
Contact us if you need counsel.