Raising a Child on the Autism Spectrum

Persistence vs. Perfection…
What is the most important quality for an autism parent to have?

“As a parent of a child with Autism: 

  • “Do you feel guilty when your child has a tantrum or seems to be in pain but don’t know what is causing it and how to stop it? 
  • “Do you believe at times that your child doesn’t love you? 
  • “Do you believe that you are not fun or interesting enough because, over and over again, your child doesn’t play with you or seems to simply “ignore” you? 

“Many parents believe they must be perfect to raise a child with Autism. Many believe they are failing as a parent if they don’t have all the answers right away. They worry and feel guilty when asking, ‘How can I help my child engage more?’; ‘What is causing my child to scream in the middle of the night instead of sleeping?’; ‘What is the best school for my child?’

“If you relate to any of these situations – it might be because you, too, believe you need to be perfect (whatever that means) to help your child. 

“Here at the Autism Treatment Center of America, we believe differently!  

“You do not need to be perfect to find the answers, to be patient, and to be fun and creative. You don’t have to be perfect to help your child! What it takes to help a child with Autism is PERSISTENCE!!! 

“When your child screams at night and refuses to go to sleep, and you don’t know what’s going on (while maybe feeling frustrated and guilty yourself)… 

“When your child chooses to play with a string for hours and hours on end and pays no attention to you… 

“When you have spent many hours and money on speech therapy, and your child is not yet talking… 

“It is not your fault. This is not happening because of your parenting! 

“Those are symptoms of your child’s Autism and not your parenting.

 “You CAN, though, help your child through all these challenges.  

“The first step is to know that, at times, you might not have an immediate answer for the challenges that you are facing.  

“The second step is to know: that PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION will lead you to the answers you want – even when it seems to take forever!  

“We can’t find the answers sometimes until we try different things and observe and educate ourselves about different subjects. And sometimes, the answers don’t come to us as fast as we would want. 

“As parents, you are your child’s best resource. That doesn’t mean you will always have the answer ready. Your child is unique. That means you might have to be a “happy detective” and search for some of those answers. Enjoy this journey (when possible), and hold on to your persistence. Persistence will carry you through this journey! 

“Persistence will heal your child’s digestive issues. 

“Persistence will help your child sleep well at night, all night long. 

“Persistence will help your child learn to communicate with you. 

“Persistence will open the door for your child to want to play and engage with you. 

“Persistence will help you know that you are perfect just the way you are now. You are the best parent your child could have! Perfection lies in loving yourself today, knowing you are doing your best. Perfection is knowing that you love your child more than anyone else (even when you don’t know what to do), and nothing will stop you from helping your child!!!  

“Persistence will help you enjoy yourself and this journey with your child without feeling guilty – because it’s not about doing it perfectly. It’s about not giving up! 

Camila Titone, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher

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