How Do I Cope with My Stress 24-7?

It is very common for parents and guardians to experience high stress levels related to caring for their child. Often days and nights may seem never ending running one into another. Stress and fatigue can make for an emotionally toxic environment for all members within the household. Statistics suggest that 80% of marital relationships dissolve with the stress, coping, and challenges related to the care and acceptance of a biological child with autism.

Take time out for yourself and your married relationship. Listen to your partners concerns, fears, and joys. Make dates outside of the home with your spouse at least once a week and if you are the primary caregiver, make time for yourself daily. Exercise and eat healthy foods to decrease stress and maintain daily stamina.

State and local governments usually have respite resources for children and adults with disabilities. Many outside agencies offer services that will individualize care for your child based on their unique needs. Networking with other families may provide invaluable resources and altruistic support.

Use visual schedules, visual communication, and develop routines with your child to support their independence and to decrease stress. Provide plenty of appropriate breaks throughout the day to meet your child’s sensory needs. Remember, if your child begins to look more autistic, then it is time to make a change, redirect focus, or utilize calming strategies that work for your child. Keep an observation journal to help you determine next steps and keep a personal journal to record your feelings and reflections. 

Above all, be consistent, follow through, be firm, and be  loving!

Choose your battles carefully and embrace your joys every chance you have! Your child will teach you what you need to know in order to meet, reach, and teach!

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

About Mary

Hi! I have been providing services for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ages 3 through age 27, for twenty years. I also teach teachers and other professionals strategies and interventions to improve and develop communication skills, social understanding skills, and replacement of stereotypical behaviors. I try to create an awareness and empathic response with professionals working with families and caregivers living with the unique differences and challenges of ASD. My other goals include educating the public about ASD. ASD is a label that provides a common ground for discussing treatment, strategies, and other interventions to help the child or person. The label is not the child and vice-versa. Over the years I have observed many children develop communication skills, experience social success, and decrease and change stereotypical behavior into productivity. The children I work with are unique and wonderous. Like you and I they have specific interests and strengths that are valuable assets to their Quality of Life.
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