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Tips for Parenting Your Autistic Child

Posted By Center for Mediated Divorce || 26-May-2015

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 obsessions!
  • 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.

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