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Advice for Maintaining Relationships and Staying Connected

We are so thankful for the outpouring of advice that has flooded in for us to share with the Autism Speaks Community. Who better to give advice than you all, the people that know best! We have heard from people on the autism spectrum, parents, siblings, teachers, therapists, and beyond. Your advice has been broken down into categories, and we will post accordingly!

Having a child on the spectrum can feel isolating enough.  Don’t be afraid to tell people about your child.  Everybody knows someone touched by Autism or Asperger’s! You never know how you might help someone else by simply opening the door. -Heather

As a sibling of someone with autism, the best advice that I could give is to teach the other children or child in your family what autism is and how to be the best support and role model for their sibling with the diagnosis. Ultimately, they can be a wonderful teacher, peer model and friend to your child as they grow up into adulthood and contribute to keeping the family strong through this journey. – Elif

Being a sibling to an Autistic child, especially being the only and oldest (such as myself) I recognize the importance of family relationships. Be honest and involve siblings with all decisions. Offer lots of private time because they do lose out on experiences when bringing an Autistic child to places such as Disney or even having friends over are too stressful. Be upfront about the responsibilities we will someday face but be cautious. I realized at 12 that someday my parents will be gone but small steps ease this realization. An open dialogue and allowing siblings to have a passion or hobby they can be immersed in is helpful. You may sense resentment at times and things may be said but never doubt that we love our siblings and will do anything for them. –Natalie

When our grandson comes to us after school feeling fried and close to a meltdown, I take him aside in a peaceful spot and just hug and hold him and let him know how much I love him. He comes around quickly and is happy again. –Donna

These children require a lot of attention every day but with the help of their parents, schools and professionals they can have a successful life. We are all in it together. –Rebecca

Remember to take time for yourself. A happy, healthy mom or dad is so important for any child, especially one on the spectrum. It’s usually you and your kids against the world, so take care of yourself, so you can take care of them. –Sarah

Don’t treat it like the end of the world, because it is not! It will always get better and easier with the help of family and friends. –Erin

It is not the end of the world. As our world was turned upside down I remember asking myself “why” “why us” where did we go wrong, what could we have done different. The truth of the matter is there is nothing that we could have done different; there is nothing we could have done to prevent this from happening to our daughter. Get together with parents in your community with ASD children and talk, cry, laugh share stores find someone on line that you can connect with DO NOT TRY TO DO IT ALL ALONE!!! –Katie

  1. December 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    To live with Autism means to accept it and all that comes with it….the good, the bad, the ugly :)
    I have learned that once I accepted the possibilities in my life, then my life became possible.
    Think of challenges as gifts, and find the beauty in them to grow as a person.
    These little people can teach us so much if we allow it!
    AND, let yourself cry if you need to…don’t hold on to emotions…lean on others and let them help you!

  1. January 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm

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