As the parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), your parenting journey carries with it many additional worries and questions that you didn’t initially plan on having to tackle. You’ve been tasked with the profound responsibility to serve as your child’s greatest advocate and champion, as well as having to face challenges and carry burdens with you that can at times be quite heavy.
Maybe you’re currently worried your child has autism, but they have not yet been diagnosed (for more information see our Signs of Autism page). Maybe your child was recently diagnosed and you’re struggling to understand the right type of therapy for their individual needs. Maybe your child was diagnosed several years ago but is now facing new challenges in developing social skills and adapting to a school classroom.
Regardless of where your family currently is in your autism journey, if you’re like most parents, you probably often wonder what the future will hold for your little one:
Will they be able to talk and communicate so that others are able to understand their needs and wants?
Will they ever stop having tantrums?
Will they make friends?
How will their siblings cope and what effect will this have on their lives?
Will they be able to drive or have a job?
What will their life look like as an adult? Will they need support?
What effect will all of this have on our family?
First and foremost – YOU CAN DO THIS!
And you don’t need to do it alone! Look to communities of support with parents that have risen to meet and overcome the unique challenges of raising a child with autism. By educating yourself about the path that lies ahead, as well as the support and resources that are available to you, you will be prepared to support your child through their journey and help them reach their full potential.
A great place to start is Autism Speaks Autism Response Team (ART). ART is a free service that can help you with a variety of things along your journey including where to get a diagnosis, advocacy and support groups, tips for navigating the school and special education system and much more.
A key component of your support system will be your child’s therapy provider. Research is clear that early and intensive applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy results in children making significant and profound progress, often helping them live more productive, fulfilling and socially connected lives. In addition to providing the highest quality home- and clinic-based ABA therapy, we partner with you on your journey, providing individualized training on strategies to manage problem behaviors and teach your child new skills. We’re here to walk alongside you to support you when challenges arise and to join in celebrating your child’s many successes!