There are typical challenges of raising a child. But additional variables usually lead to stress among the parents and caregivers while raising an autistic child. Coming to terms with autism is a big challenge in itself, while there are other factors that cause stress and anxiety among parents.
Children having autism spectrum disorder (ASD), on an average, are assessed by at least four professionals before they are finally diagnosed as autistic. But the number of organizations that offer specialized services and treatment to those on the spectrum are limited. This ultimately makes it harder to cope and adapt to the situation.
Social attitude about autism also leaves parents worrisome and uneasy. This because an autistic child often displays behavior that’s considered as “disturbing”, “unusual”, and “annoying” by neuro-typical people. The lack of awareness about autism has led to less acceptance of such people in the mainstream. An autistic child is often teased and bullied in school.
Stress is often associated with an autistic child’s ability in interacting and regulating in a social situation. He/she may suffer from communication deficits witnessed across a range of nonverbal and verbal challenges like posture, gesture, rhythm, facial expressions, and similar things. Aggressive behavior and self-injury is also fairly common among children having autism. A step further, destructive behavior is one of the strongest predictors of stress among parents.
Parents raising an autistic child often have to face health problems themselves. A recent research revealed that such parents often suffer from high blood pressure and other stress-related problems.
While the challenges of raising an autistic child are undeniably stacked up against the parents, prior knowledge of what they have to face may help in the preparedness to address the disorder. Parenting a one-of-its-kind child is trying in most cases. It’s more challenging in case of an autistic child because no two children are the same.