Autistic children need families that are enthusiastic and committed to the development of their skills and abilities. The harsh reality of autism will hit them at times, but seeing happy children will be the best reward.
Receiving the diagnosis of autism for a child is overwhelming. Autistic children demand attention and care that implies a rearrangement of all family dynamics. The challenges for the family of autistic children are of all kinds, from the emotional to the economic.
Autism is a developmental disorder that will require support from the family for life. Continued family support can help lead autistic children to have a satisfying life, fulfilling goals that are traced like any other human being.
Challenges for the family of autistic children
Between 12 and 24 months, the first signs of autism appear. The parents detect that the child is not interested in communicating with them or with other people. Rather, they become absorbed in objects or repetitive activities. It is also common for the child with autism, after having reached a milestone of development, to go back to an earlier stage.
Upon receiving the diagnosis of autism, we go through different stages that challenge the well-being of everyone. Internalize the idea that it is an incurable condition, seek guilty or deny the evidence are possible states in the parents and challenges for the whole family.
United by a love of the child, you can find the strength to help him have a happy life. However, there are some first challenges for the family of autistic children that we should know.
Accept the first signs
It is difficult for parents to recognize that a child has problems that differentiate them from other babies or children their age. After faith and hope have been invested in the arrival of a baby, it is undoubtedly hard to perceive and accept that there are significant differences.
Parents of autistic children have to overcome that initial resistance. Detecting and accepting that there are those first signs of autism is essential to achieve the best results with the treatment.
The emotional states will be multiple and varied. From sadness and depression to anger and guilt. Recognizing those emotions is part of the process of accepting that one of the family members suffers from autism. If your child has an imaginary friends you need to know what to do.
Get the diagnosis
Parents are called to be the first to see the signs of autism, as they are the ones who spend more time with the child. However, only a doctor can diagnose autism. It is important that, when you go to the pediatrician, you have a detailed list of the symptoms that concern you.
Talk to your child’s pediatrician and ask him to do the corresponding evaluations. If you feel that the pediatrician does not take you seriously, insist or seek a second opinion with another doctor. The early detection of autism is basic to apply the most successful treatment.
The doctor can give a diagnosis of autism or generalized problems with development before 3 years. If the pediatrician agrees with the signs of autism, he is likely to confirm his diagnosis with other professionals such as a psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or another pediatrician.
Decide the treatment
Even though it is still a challenge for science to discover the causes of autism, the specialist will design a treatment plan for your child. This plan will include diets, therapies (psychological, occupational and language) and may even resort to medications to control some symptoms.
In the measure is that children are evolving, they will be making adaptations to treatment, as the case may be. The specialists know that the sooner you start treatment there will be a better prognosis for autistic children.
Getting the right treatment for each child is a great challenge for the family and the specialists who accompany it. A good treatment will help develop the functional language, communication skills and IQ of these children.
Train and adapt
The family needs to be trained and look for information on autism spectrum disorders. In particular, you need the exact information about the problems that affect the family member.
The search for therapies and solutions can be exhausting. Increasingly there are more standards for the treatment of autism, as well as experimental and alternative options that offer improvements. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that there is no miracle cure.
The family must adapt to that child with its needs and complex peculiarities. That happens every day with all the families only that, when someone has autism, there will be many days in which there is to recognize the harsh reality of the disorder.
Adapting and recognizing that autism has no cure is the way to get these children to have a family that supports them in their development. The challenge for the family is to make these children human beings with a beautiful and meaningful personal history.
Rearrangement of family dynamics
The confirmation that one of the members of the family suffers from autism implies a rearrangement of family dynamics. This can be the biggest challenge for the family. On the one hand, the therapies and feeding of autistic children require attention, and some family member has to dedicate themselves to it.
Expenses also increase. The family budget will be impacted by the confirmation of the diagnosis of autism. There are medicines that begin to buy regularly, pay the different therapists, decide if the child goes to a specialized or regular school … These are new situations that may involve an extra outlay.
Likewise, if there are other children in the family, there will be times when they feel displaced. The attention demanded by an autistic child will make that, at some point, the siblings (children or adolescents) feel that the parents do not dedicate time and attention to them.
Parents should make a greater effort to prevent their other children from feeling unattended. All these efforts plus the mixed feelings generated by autism can make the couple suffer. Staying united as a couple is one of the greatest challenges.
The specialists committed to helping autistic children are fundamental. However, they can not do the work alone. They need the commitment of families to overcome their difficulties.
For parents, siblings or grandparents, receiving the diagnosis of autism in one of its members is always overwhelming. However, autistic children need enthusiastic families and with hope, to help them overcome each day.
As new children grow, new challenges and realities will arise. The day will come when there are no grandparents or parents, and there will be others who will accompany these exceptional human beings. What they have been able to achieve or overcome will surely be due to the enormous and loving effort of their families.