As a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you often face unique challenges balancing your career while having distinctive parenting experiences. While it’s not always easy, parents raising neurodivergent children can implement simple strategies that help them balance work demands while ensuring they can provide their family the emotional and physical support they need for better experiences.
In this blog post by ABA Centers of America, we’ll discuss seven tips that help parents manage these different yet critical roles more easily. Whether adjusting your schedule or knowing when to ask for help, employing these practices can make a tremendous difference in attaining some much-needed breathing room while reducing parental stress typical when raising a child on the spectrum.
So, keep reading to learn more about achieving a healthier work and parenting balance to ensure you have the structure to be there for your family while consistently feeling your best.
Click here for more information about ABA Therapy with ABA Centers of America.
Working as a Parent of a Child with Autism: 7 Helpful Tips!
Plan and Prioritize
Many recognize that being a parent can sometimes be a tough job. But when it comes to parenting a child with autism, it’s a whole different experience. For parents with a child on the spectrum, their priority list can become jumbled. Sometimes, essential tasks may fall through the cracks, leading to increased mistakes, feeling less than others, or experiencing caregiver burnout, as demonstrated by qualitative research.
It’s essential when parenting a child with autism to create a plan and prioritize appropriately. Identify what activities work and what parenting areas must be addressed and prioritize them accordingly. A clear-cut plan can be vital in helping you avoid chaos without sacrificing other important aspects of your life to ensure your schedule feels manageable.
Planning and prioritizing tasks can also help parents be more present for their family and work.
Being a parent of a child with autism can be a full-time job, and sometimes, things get hectic when you add a career to the mix. Being organized can be especially helpful for parents of children with autism who have unique obligations due to their child’s developmental and sensory needs. By managing daily responsibilities, many parents with a child on the spectrum experience success working and parenting simultaneously.
A well-organized schedule helps you fulfill your obligations while providing breathing room to practice self-care. Additionally, organization that includes downtime enables caregivers to explore hobbies for better regulation, resulting in better parenting experiences and less anxiety.
With some planning, many caregivers can simultaneously be successful parents and career persons.
Connect with Other Parents Experiencing the Same Thing
As a parent of a child with autism, it can feel like no one understands your struggles. However, reaching out to a support group or online community of other parents in the same situation can make a massive difference in feeling less alone. Support groups can be an opportunity to connect with people who genuinely understand your experience. From there, families can share practical strategies and provide much-needed emotional support.
Whether you’re looking for advice on navigating the education system, managing behavioral issues, or need a listening ear from someone who truly understands, these communities can be invaluable supports.
So don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with other parents of children with autism. It may be the beginning of establishing a supportive and empowering network that helps you and your family thrive. It can also lead to new relationships, play dates, and greater participation.
Ask For Help
As a parent of a child with autism, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything alone. Asking for help from others can be a huge lifesaver. Help can come from family members, friends, or other sources like community or support groups.
Not only will asking for help allow you to step back and recharge, but it also allows your child to bond with other people and learn new skills. So, don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it because seeking support can sometimes be your greatest strength.
Take Care of Yourself
As a parent of a child with autism, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life. Self-care is essential for managing stress levels and promoting overall well-being, even though it can feel like a luxury. Taking care of yourself is crucial and generally only involves setting aside daily time to include self-care practices.
Taking care of yourself helps you proactively address stress levels and remain calm. Whether your self-care practices include taking a relaxing bath, walking, or enjoying a favorite book, prioritizing your needs is essential. By doing so, you can better handle the challenges of parenting a child with autism with a greater sense that you can meet whatever challenges arise.
Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. Including self-care is a necessary component of being the most responsible parent possible.
Be Honest with Your Employer If That Feels Possible
As a parent of a child with autism, it’s natural to feel stressed sometimes. However, it’s important to communicate honestly with your employer about any specific needs or accommodations you may require due to your parenting situation. Whether establishing flexible work hours to attend your child’s appointments or proactively addressing unexpected concerns, being upfront with your employer can lead to a more productive and collaborative work environment.
By advocating for yourself and your child, you create a better work-life balance for yourself and pave the way for more understanding and acceptance in the workplace around neurodiversity. Honesty and open communication help establish a positive and supportive workplace culture that is more inclusive today and in the future.
Consider ABA Therapy
For parents of children with autism, deciding on the best form of therapy can feel intimidating. The gold standard in autism intervention today is ABA therapy. The research offered by The Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics shows clinical improvement in many receiving ABA care over time. Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a therapeutic approach that focuses on reinforcing positive behaviors in children while reducing those that can hinder development or daily functioning.
ABA therapy involves intensive one-on-one sessions with a certified ABA provider like a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Each session is customized to meet the client’s specific needs.
While ABA therapy may require substantial time and dedication, it is a promising option for many families seeking to help their children with autism reach their developmental potential, promoting greater independence for all parties.
More About ABA Centers of America
Establishing a positive work-life balance when parenting a loved one with autism can be challenging but is entirely attainable. ABA therapy helps provide valuable insight into understanding behavioral patterns common in autism, interventions and recommends activities that help.
At ABA Centers of America, we offer personalized, scientifically proven treatment that can make a real difference in your child’s long-term experiences on the spectrum. Call us at 844-923-4222 or contact us here to take the first step toward positive behavioral change today. Our ABA team is top-tier and is ready to serve your family now!
Fortunately, support is available to help you manage the balancing act between your career and parenthood. Don’t hesitate to reach us now.