If you are the parent of a child with autism, relaxation time is rare with all the daily demands. Self-care routines improve our capacity for helping others, which makes them essential! Finding ways to incorporate self-care and stress management is also mandatory for maintaining your health and a stable foundation for your child with autism.
Below are several simple steps you can take to start nurturing your peace of mind today. With intentional effort and a few lifestyle changes, you may be surprised that integrating self-care into your daily lifestyle is less complicated than you imagined. There’s no permanent cure for stress and the unpredictability of life, but here are some of our go-to wellness strategies!
Schedule Rest Intentionally
Take breaks and treat yourself to scheduled restorative moments with planning. Even a 10-minute break can make all the difference! Some great relaxation outlets are:
- Practice uninterrupted meditation daily.
- Perform a stretching session a couple of times each day.
- Dedicate time to catch up on a favorite show or read an interesting article.
These restorative breaks can refuel your energy reserves and dissolve accumulated stress. Every week, consider recruiting additional help to take care of family obligations, so you can pursue your hobbies or simply rest. Even if breaks are only for a few hours each week, they provide the much-deserved respite you need.
Find Support Systems That Share Similar Experiences
Having a child with autism has unique challenges and perspectives that differ from most parents. Connecting with families or communities that have similar experiences may help you feel less isolated and more understood. These communities can fill a gap if you do not know other families with a child who is on the spectrum. Below are the benefits in building autism related support systems:
- Families familiar with the challenges surrounding autism can provide emotional support, practical advice, and lasting friendships.
- Autism communities or message boards can offer valuable information, such as articles on autism research or information on the latest autism therapy approaches.
- Connecting with autism communities may empower you to better advocate for your child’s needs, such as promoting awareness and acceptance of those with autism.
- Other families of children with autism may offer new perspectives, such as appreciating the strengths and unique qualities of your child.
There are many autism support groups, both in-person and online, that you can join, depending on your goal. Each different kind of group has its own purpose.
- Peer-led Support Groups – Led by parents that have children with autism, families form a community with others that have similar experiences. Group leaders may facilitate discussions on topics of interest, open up a forum to share advice, or provide emotional support.
- Education Support Groups – These are informative groups that share information and plan presentations with the goal of educating. Members may take turns delivering a presentation about a topic of interest or expert speakers may be invited.
- Professionally-led Support Groups – Funded by organizations dedicated to autism advocacy, education, or support, these are run by psychologists, social workers, school personnel or other experts. The goals for these groups is usually to educate and build a support system for members.
Below are some in-person and online autism support systems.
- The Autism Society
- Autism Speaks
- Center for Parent Information and Resources
- Autism Connection of Pennsylvania
- The Arc of New Jersey
Partner With a Caring Autism Support Team
Our autism services in Mount Laurel, NJ, and through the rest of our clinics are equal parts child and parent support! While children learn and grow in our uplifting ABA clinics, parents have the time and support they need to maintain a more balanced lifestyle. In addition to providing our clients with direct autism support services, our nurturing guidance extends beyond the clinical environment.
By empowering our parents with personalized education, our services can help you develop a better home structure, reduce problematic behaviors, and ultimately, help you find some much-deserved relief!
For assistance with a variety of impactful autism services in Chatham, NJ, and throughout the northeast, reach out to our caring ABA team and learn more about our well-rounded approach to autism support today!