Being a parent is one of the most difficult and certainly the most responsible job in the world. If your kid has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), more commonly referred to just as autism, this job becomes a lot more difficult. Still, a careful, patient and willing parent can make their kid’s development and growth much easier and more effective, if they only knew what the right course of action was. Nevertheless, you usually won’t have the privilege of dropping it all and dedicating all your time to the kid, seeing as how you still have to make a living in order to create a better future for both of you. With that in mind, here are several tips on how to balance your life and career when you have an autistic child.
1. Learn a thing or two about autism
Now the first thing you need to understand is the fact that the topic of autism is one of the most controversial issues on the internet. Still, this is something that you should avoid completely. Does knowing what causes autism really help in any way? What you need to understand are the symptom and possible changes over the years. Knowing a thing or two about the nature of the disorder should also help. For this, you need to have trustworthy resources, yet, it’s always the best idea to talk to a professional.
A lot of people draw all of their knowledge from movies like Rain Man and The Unexpected Journey but the truth is that the situation doesn’t have to be so drastic. In some scenarios, autism can come down to abnormal body posturing and facial expressions, some mild behavioral disturbances and a delay in learning to speak. Nonetheless, it’s probably for the best if you were to diagnose the situation that your kid’s in, to the best of your abilities.
2. Picking the right career choice might be vital
If you’re in a scenario where you can choose your own career path, there are several factors you might want to consider. First of all, in this day and age, it’s quite possible to make a living from home. The number of remote workers in the world is on a stellar rise, however, you shouldn’t overestimate your ability to work in the same room with the child that has autism. Sometimes, it’s best for you to find a traditional day job in order to have some at least partial me-time every day.
Most importantly, there are several things you need to look for when picking the right occupation. First of all, you need something that will allow you to earn enough with a single stream of income. Keep in mind that in your situation you might not have enough time for a second job. Also, it’s incredibly important that you find a job that provides you with great health benefits, seeing as how you might need to go to a lot of therapies. On-site daycare that accepts children with autism is also a massive plus when choosing your future employer. Still, these employers are scares, which is why you need to prepare to the best of your abilities to get the job.
3. The child is not the only one who needs help
While your child needs to be a priority at all times, what you also need to understand is the fact that the parent in question is under a lot of stress, as well. This is why you need to consider organizations like Behaviour Zen, which focus on both the parent and the child, in the process. The parent is often an overlooked party in this scenario, which is a course of action that can give some overwhelmingly negative consequences in the long run. Keep in mind that this is a difficult path and that you need to look for help wherever you can find it.
4. Split duties
Lastly, you need to understand that you’re not alone in this and you need to be ready and willing to accept help from whoever is there to provide it. The simplest and the most effective method is to split duties between parents, yet, if this is not a possibility, you might want to ask some of your closest friends and relatives for help. Just remember that this is a huge responsibility, which is why you shouldn’t hold a grudge against anyone who isn’t willing to agree to it. All the help you receive needs to be on a voluntary basis.
As you can see, while some things become a lot more complicated, what you need to understand is the fact that all of it is still quite doable. Only by making a plan, doing your research and learning how to reach out to others for help will you be able to make it.
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