Families of children with the autism spectrum (ASD) diagnosis often report high levels of stress. When a child receives an autism diagnosis, it affects every member of the family in different ways. With the primary focus now being shifted on helping the child with ASD, this may put stress on marriages, siblings, work, finances, and responsibilities. So much time, and very often dollars, are shifted towards finding treatments for the child, and other priorities are minimized or even excluded.
Someone that knows first hand about stress surrounding a diagnosis is Autism Mom Chandra Peyton. She’s the incredible mother to not one, not two, but three sons that are all on the autism spectrum.
In your family, you can develop ways to manage those stressful times.
1. Involve members of your tribe and create a network of help and understanding
2. Get organized. Focus on getting one thing done at a time and establish family routines.
3. Look after yourself. This is so easy to forget, but it’s important that all family members, including yourself, have time to do things that make them happy.
Most of all, know that’s it normal to feel a range of emotions. Shock, sadness, anger, denial, loneliness, and acceptance. This is the grieving process. Whatever your feelings, it’s important that you recognize them and acknowledge that they are A-OK.