If you are the parent of an autistic child or teen, you may often put your own needs on hold as you support your child through life’s challenges at home, school and beyond. This support doesn’t seem to decrease as your child reaches the teen years. As a parent of an autistic teen, you often find yourself with questions and concerns, and aren’t sure where to find the answers. You may even feel that others won’t really understand what you’re going through anyway. That’s why autism parent support groups are so key to surviving and thriving for parents of autistic teens.
Parents of Autistic Teens Struggle, Too
Parents of autistic children can experience a great deal of anxiety and stress. When you see your child struggle, you want to help them succeed. This may include therapies such as language, occupational or psychological. And that means time spent in appointments as well as a great deal of money.
Not only that, the teen years can be very challenging for an autistic teen. Autism can often impact social communication, a vital tool for teens interacting with peers. Autistic teens tend to struggle with executive functioning, skills that become increasingly important as they prepare for independence. Autistic teens are, understandably, at an increased risk for mental health issues at this developmental stage.
As a parent, you may be in the middle of all of this and suddenly think, “When’s the last time I went out with friends?” You may also come to realize that, when you do see them, they don’t really relate with your parenting challenges. Or even your daily life, for that matter.
Autism Parent Support Groups
It’s absolutely essential that you find support for this stage of your family’s life. The right support means that you will not only feel understood, but get connected to tools and resources for you and your child that can make a real difference in your lives.
There really is no better support than parents helping other parents. Autism parent support groups should include parents supporting each other. Parents of autistic children know the unique challenges and joys of parenting neurodiverse children. They have valuable experience in advocating for their own children at school, setting up a home environment conducive to sensory differences, and teaching their children important life skills.
Parents of autistic children also know what it’s like to feel alone and misunderstood. They know what it’s like to feel judged when you are in public and your child is having a meltdown. They know the uncertainty and fear of the future as your children reach adulthood. They know the pride of seeing your child reach a milestone that other parents take for granted: a first job, a real friendship, a graduation. Autism parent support groups celebrate every success; the perfect mix of hope and compassion to such well-deserving families.
If you or someone you care about would like to connect with an autism parent support group or any support group for parents of teens who struggle, reach out to Other Parents Like Me today. We offer a 7-day free trial to our support groups.
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