The Impacts Of Autism On The Family And What You Can Do
The effects of autism are commonly discussed, but what is often missed are the impacts of autism on the family. Most families that end up having an autistic child are completely unprepared. Even though autism is considered one of the most common forms of childhood disorders, it only happens 1 in 155 births. Often families are put into extreme positions where they can’t afford to care for them, their other children get neglected and everyone ends up stressed out. It is extremely challenging and often pushes loving parents away from each other due to feelings of blame, guilt and frustration. I’m going to tell you another side of autism; the impacts of autism on the family.
The parents of the family are going to feel the biggest stress of all. They’re the ones expected to support the children mentally, financially and safely. With an autistic child, the task of doing all this becomes extremely hard. Depending on how bad the autism is, it can be extremely hard for a single parent to stay home and raise the child, while the other goes to work to earn a living. Often one will get burned out and it’s tough. It is expensive to pay a professional for help, so a regular working class family doesn’t have much they can look to for help.
Families are more likely to have more than one child. If the first child is autistic, than the chances of a second child coming into the picture are slim due to the amount of time that needs to be dedicated. The problem is that often a family will already have children before the autistic one comes along. I think the regular children have it extremely tough. The first thing that they’ll notice is that their parents don’t have much time for them. Parents have, so much to do that they often can’t spread around the attention to all their children equally. Another big thing is that these regular children are often put in the position to pick up a lot of the slack. This takes away all those child activities all children do, so they can help raise their autistic brother or sister.
A big part of the impact of autism on the family is the financial one. Depending on how severe the autism is, you can’t always send your child to public school. You’re forced to send them to a specialized school that will cost money. Typically it is a more expensive type of tuition and most families can’t afford it. This forces at least one of the parents to take on a lot more work. That means working over 80hrs a week, just to get the overtime pay on their next paycheck. As you can tell, any parent would burn out at this rate.
As you can see, the impacts of autism on the family are great. It is something that often most families are not prepared for. They don’t have the finances or the time to dedicate to the problem and they often struggle.