How To Build A Support System As A Parent Of A Child With Autism

As any new parent knows, having access to a network of support when raising your child can be vital. In the first few years, you may find that your sleep is deprived, as you need to get up several times in the night to feed, change, or provide comfort to your baby. Having a partner who can share this load is priceless as it will enable you both to take turns looking after the baby at night, allowing you both to get better sleep on a rotation. As your child grows, the schooling system can be an invaluable source of support, with feedback being gained on your child’s progress and development from teachers, potentially highlighting any areas that may need improvement. However, if your child has been diagnosed with autism, you must create and maintain an effective support system both for your child and for you as a parent. In this article, some advice will be provided on how to build such a support system.

Investigate online resources

Firstly, it is of paramount importance that you educate yourself in the field of autism. This will help you to make more informed choices on the care that your child requires and may also help you seek out additional avenues of support as a parent. Search online to find lists of resources for parents of autistic children. Autistic charities and foundations can be an excellent source of knowledge and advice. In addition, consider downloading a dedicated autism app such as These apps will contain a wealth of information on the condition, including practical advice and activities that will help you to care for your child. They may also include a function to communicate with dedicated autistic specialists and parents of other autistic children, helping you to build an online support system that can be accessed and contributed to on a 24/7 basis.

Educate family members

It is also vitally important to educate family members on autism, specifically the level of autism that your child has and any specific needs they have. Remember that autism is a spectrum disorder and the impact of the condition on daily life and behavior will differ from child to child. Helping your relatives to understand your child’s special needs will allow them to provide effective support and occasionally take care of the child if needed. Educating other children in the family is also vital as it will help them to interact more effectively with your child, without fear or apprehension.

Join autism forums and support groups

Finally, you may find it beneficial as a parent to join autism forums and local support groups. Online autism forums can be accessed on a 24/7 basis, with larger global forums having active members at all times of day and night. These can be an excellent way to share ideas with other parents of autistic children, seek advice, or simply talk about any difficulties in your day. Local support groups can also be a perfect way to build a support network as a parent. Contact your local council or community association to find details of support groups in your area. Typically, such groups meet on a weekly or monthly basis and are a place where parents with autistic children can receive support, encouragement, and advice from other parents and autism specialists.

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