Parents of teens with autism go through a lot of stress. The constant tantrums, the lack of support, the absence of government programs, and many other obstacles can cause serious family drama.
Recently, Psychology Today published an article written by Michael Ellis, a child psychiatrist, and the father of a 13-year-old daughter with autism.
It seems there are plenty of reasons why parents of teens with autism can experience stress to the point of burnout. In fact, research suggests they experience more stress than parents of children with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.
What is autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is generally considered a developmental disorder of neuro-biological nature. This condition affects the individual’s ability to develop social relationships, and can also cause abnormal language, bizarre gestures, and compulsive behaviors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 out of 59 American children has autism. Furthermore, a survey conducted on the entire population of South Korea revealed 1 out of 38 children are diagnosed with autism.
Three tips to parenting teens with autism
1. Apply for government resources
One of the leading causes of stress for parents of teens with autism can be the lack of financial resources.
The best thing to do is seek as many funding programs as you can find and apply to them. For example, if you’re in the United States, you can apply for Medicaid waiver programs.
2. Ask for help from friends and family members
Dealing with the same issues and obstacles daily can eventually wear you off. Therefore, it’s crucial to take a day for yourself occasionally. But to do that, you need to find someone to look after your child.
Parents of teens with autism often rely on the help of family members and friends. It’s almost impossible to look after a child with ASD without feeling overwhelmed at some point.
3. There’s no shame in joining a support group
The constant stress that parents of teens with autism face can sometimes trigger depression, anxiety, and other severe problems.
To avoid reaching the point where you’re no longer able to look after your child, try joining a support group. Talking to other parents of children with ADS can help you identify resources and overcome challenges.
Plus, knowing you’re not the only one struggling with the stress of raising a kid with ADS makes you feel somewhat relieved.
To learn more about autism, click here.