With that being said, a big part of igniting change, moving away from myths, and promoting acceptance comes from those who care for individuals with autism. Whether you are a parent of a child with autism or a caregiver for an adult with autism, the work you do is incredibly important and rewarding. There are many joys that come with caring for those with autism, and it can also be a challenging experience. Getting connected with resources is essential to not only the individual’s care, but the caregiver’s overall wellbeing as well.
If you are a caregiver, the way you take care of yourself can translate directly into how you care for your child or individual. Working with individuals with autism is rewarding, joyful, and occasionally challenging. It can be easy to put your own needs aside in order to care for a child or individual with autism, as it’s something that you likely feel like you need to do in order to provide the best quality care. However, it’s important to remember that we have to fill our own cups back up in order to adequately give to others. Below are some tips to help you recharge:
- Allow yourself space in your schedule for self-care. Though it can feel impossible at times, it’s essential to part of the care that you provide.
- Give yourself short breaks where you can. Taking five minutes to take a breather can help with centering and refocusing.
- Be accepting of help that is offered to you. Whether you’re a parent or caregiver, we all need help and support when caring so consistently for others.
- For parents: get your child involved in activities or therapies such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). This type of therapy helps increase language skills, communication skills, improve attention and focus, work on social skills, memory, and academics. It can also help decrease any problem behaviors.
- Support groups can be a great resource for you to relate to other caregivers of those with autism. Relating to people that understand your experiences can make a big difference. Here is a link to a caregiver support group resources: https://www.ccseniorservices.org/
For further education and resources about autism and caregiver support, check out the following resources:
By, Kristi Zalinka, EAP Intern