No mom is ever going to be one hundred percent sure of herself, even if she has more than one child or her child is older, so she’s had more ‘practice’ at parenting. The truth is, no one ever really knows if what they’re doing or saying is the right thing, but we all try to do the best we can and, mostly, that works out.
Of course, having confidence is key, and it can make all the difference in any situation, including helping your child if they are autistic. The fact is that an autism diagnosis will make things easier to understand, but it won’t change anything; that’s where having confidence comes in. If you’re confident in yourself, your child, and the choices you’re making on their behalf, you can all move forward together in a positive way. Read on to find out more about how to find that confidence and use it wisely.
One of the first things to do when you have an autism diagnosis for your child is to educate yourself as much as possible about what that really means for them and for you (and the rest of your family). You can find out more through various resources, including forums, websites, books, podcasts, and other parents who are going through the same thing, not to mention getting professional help too.
The more you know, the easier it will be to make decisions about your child and their future, as well as your own. It might be that you feel home education would be the right step, and perhaps you want to start your own business so you have time to be there for your child as they develop, so you learn that NTI Technologies structured & network cabling should be installed to make things run smoothly, for example. Or perhaps you feel that moving closer to friends and family is the right choice. Maybe your research points you in a different direction altogether. The point is, you can’t make choices or know that you’re doing things in the right way for everyone unless you have all the information, so educating yourself is the first thing you need to do.
Get Professional Guidance
We briefly mentioned this above, but it’s worth going into in more detail, as it is an important point and one that can help you gain the confidence you need. Consulting with professionals who specialize in autism can really make a difference in your life and the life of your child, and there are many different people who can help, including speech therapists, pediatricians, child psychologists, and occupational therapists, to name just a few.
You’ll get valuable information you can use to help your child yourself, but you’ll also know that your little one is in the best hands, and that can boost your confidence too – you’ll know that their unique needs have been found and are being used to help them, and you’ll also know where to go if you have questions, and again, what better way to give you more confidence about anything than to know as much about it as possible?
Connect With Other Parents
It’s crucial to remember that, although it might seem like it, you’re not alone in your journey as a mom to an autistic child – in fact, there are many other parents just like you, going through a similar thing at the same time (of course, everyone’s situation will be different, but there will be enough that’s the same to give you the chance to bond and feel acknowledged).
This is the ideal way to grow in confidence because you’ll be able to ask questions that other people – real people in your situation – will have practical answers to. Asking a doctor is great, and definitely should be something you do, but asking people like you might give you answers you can start using right away, building your confidence more quickly.
Look for local support groups or online communities where you can get advice (and give it), share stories, and give (and receive) plenty of encouragement. You’ll feel fantastic when you do this, and the connections you make might even turn into lifelong friends.
Involve Family And Friends
It’s also great if you can involve your family and friends as much as possible too. You will probably have to teach them as much about autism – and specifically how it relates to your child and your life – as you can so they can understand, but that’s helpful for you as well as them, as it gives you a chance to organize your thoughts and work out what you need from your loved ones.
When you have a strong support network around you, they can give you the help and relief you might need to gain confidence and move forward in life. This is absolutely crucial when you’re going through a challenging time, and even if they can’t offer any practical advice, just being there for you and being someone you can talk to is often enough.
As a mom to an autistic child, it’s so easy to ignore or entirely forget about your own needs while you’re focusing on your child’s needs and wellbeing, but that’s a mistake. Not only will it make you more tired and stressed and therefore actually less able to help your child in the way they need you to, but it also means you might lose confidence. If you snap at your child or you can’t find a solution to a problem because you’re exhausted and you can’t think clearly, you’ll feel terrible and you’ll have a lot of guilt, but you’ll also question your own knowledge and ideas, and your confidence levels will drop.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you practice self-care. Take some time for yourself (perhaps asking your friends and family to step in for a short while), and you’ll feel much better and more able to cope, helping you with your confidence levels. You could try yoga, you could read a book, you could go for a walk, take up a hobby, or anything else that works for you. As long as it relaxes you and helps you feel less stressed, you’ll be in a much better place to be confident and enjoy time with your child.