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How to Best Support Families with Autism

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When my daughter got her autism diagnosis, one of the first things I needed was support. And one of the first things I did? I started looking for resources in my area on how to create and nurture a strong support system. As a parent of an autistic child, this was one of the most important things I could have done. So now, I want to share this with you. Just some of the ways to best support families with autism. 

How to Best support families with autism

First? Please check your judgment at the door. Don’t tell us that you’ve heard about how so-and-so “cured” their child. Don’t ask us if we’ve tried this or that. 

And please? Do not pray for the autism to be gone from our child.  

This is not a time to bring God or religion into this.

This is a time for understanding and support. 

When a child is first diagnosed, quite honestly, there’s a lot going on that you just don’t see. 

Yes, you see that the child has gotten the diagnosis. 

But what you don’t see? You don’t see the parent who is now trying to hold it all together. You don’t see the parent who is trying to find all of the answers to their questions. You don’t see the parent who is overwhelmed with paperwork. You don’t see the parent who is trying not to break. 

But we are here. 

We are still here.

Behind the scenes? We are here. We are struggling. We need help.

We don’t need your judgement. 

We don’t need your (well meaning) advice.

We need your support.

We need your understanding. 

You don’t see the parent who is struggling to balance her time in her neurodiverse family.

we don’t just need your thoughts and prayers

Are your positive thoughts and prayers appreciated? Of course. But don’t stop there. Let your actions extend further than just thoughts and prayers. 

Ask us how you can help.

After my daughter’s diagnosis– the one thing I needed? 

I needed a shoulder to cry on and an ear that would listen.

I simply just needed someone to be there.

I needed someone to tell me that it was going to be okay.

I needed someone to tell me that I would get through this.

I needed someone to tell me that it wasn’t the end of the world.

I needed someone who was willing to give me a kick in the ass and to stop wallowing in self-pity.

I needed someone who was going to tell me that it was okay to feel what I was feeling.

Most of all?

I needed someone to tell me that it wasn’t my fault.

I needed someone to tell me that it was okay to cry.

I needed someone to tell me that it was okay to be angry.

I needed someone to tell me that yes, I could handle all of this.

how to best support autism moms

While I’m fairly certain that this advice could also speak to dads, I specifically address moms because well- I’m a mom. 

The mom is often, but not always, the one who holds the family together.

She is the strong foundation, she is the glue. She is the keeper of the family. She is the caregiver. 

Sometimes she is also the provider or the breadwinner. 

And guess what…

She is struggling.

She may not always recognize it.

She may not always say it aloud.

She may not always ask for help.

But she is struggling.

You may not see her sleepless nights.

You may not see her tears.

You may not see her constant worries.

But she is struggling.

She may keep her outward appearance strong.

She may insist that she can handle it.

She may tell you that nothing is wrong.

But she is struggling.

Some days, it may be difficult for her to get out of bed- but she does it.

Some nights, she may not sleep.

Some moments, she may wonder if it’s all going to work out.

She is struggling. But she is strong. And she will get through this.

How do I know?

Because I am that mom.

Because I know.

Because I struggled. 

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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed neurodivergent mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, and coach; Kori shares neurodivergent life in a neurotypical world while helping others to do the same. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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