PARENTING APPROACH – Being on the “Same Page” to Help Your Autistic Child

Raising your child on the autism spectrum can be a gift, given their many individual passions, talents, and strengths. It brings a set of unique challenges to you. You and your spouse or partner may experience a mix of emotions, including love, joy, frustration, and stress, as you navigate the complexities of autism.

Here at the Autism Treatment Center of America®, we understand that parenting your child involves navigating unpredictable behaviors, possible communication difficulties, a sense of isolation, and atypical attachment behavior. The challenge of securing resources or the disappointment you may feel when witnessing your child’s inability to relate to their peers exacerbates stress even further.

Parents of children with ASD experience more marital strain and are twice as likely to divorce compared to parents without a child with ASD. Yet the importance of parents having a thriving relationship with a child on the spectrum is vital. That is why parents using The Son-Rise Program® with their children learn strategies and techniques to support their emotional state and relationship skills with each other. We help you nurture a loving and cohesive relationship, creating a solid emotional environment to co-parent your child in (even if your situation is being separated or having blended families).

Being on the “same page” with your parenting approach, including any therapy plans (even when unsure what to do), is crucial.

The Son-Rise Program helps you understand the value of creating a consistent emotional environment of ease, fun, and celebration for your child on the spectrum.

Why is it important for parents of children with ASD to prioritize a loving relationship and emotional environment?

  • This style of emotional predictability for your child equates to their sense of safety and security, supporting their ability to connect and learn.
  • ASD children are sensitive to their attitudinal environment and often respond with disruptive or intense behavior when they experience their environment as unpredictable and/or emotionally volatile.
  • A common challenge for ASD children is difficulty in regulating their emotions. Parents who are having their own difficulties can affect this.

For example, Rachel and Charles, parents of Joey, age 6 (whose names have been altered for privacy), started using The Son-Rise Program. However, they were divorced, and Charles remarried. Joey spent the weekdays with Rachel at her home (that he grew up in) and went to Charles’ home on the weekends. Both parents attended training in The Son-Rise Program to support Joey’s autism and to learn parenting skills for themselves. Although Rachel and Charles were no longer in a relationship, they were dedicated to learning practical co-parenting tools. They soon realized how their attitude towards each other influenced their effectiveness with Joey and his ability to grow.

Just like Rachel and Charles, here are ways you can create more ease and love in your co-parenting relationship (no matter your relationship circumstances):

  • Prioritize ‘getting on the same page’ with understanding the nature of autism and a parenting approach, such as The Son-Rise Program (even if you are not doing a home-based program).
  • Explore the roles within your family structure to create a more supportive environment that fosters collaboration among family members caring for your child with autism.
  • Consider couples’ therapy to support a consistent, loving relationship and more empowerment (The Son-Rise Program offers you attitudinal consultations).
  • Learn tools to recognize and let go of judgments of yourself and/or each other to grow your attitudinal skills and build your emotional well-being.

To support your ability to create consistent love and ease in your parenting and relationship, here’s a special gift. Use the links below to learn about powerful tools you can use immediately to support your emotional well-being and loving relationship:

Happiness GPS® Audio Lecture

Happiness GPS® Support Handout with Examples

We understand that being a parent to your child on the spectrum isn’t always easy. However, we want to inspire you to know that tough times can include inner ease and the ability to stay in your loving place. These are skills you can learn, and they are simple. We hope you take the valuable step of caring for yourself and your relationship, knowing you are powerfully caring for your child.

We are cheering all the parents and caregivers of children with ASD!

Written by Suzanne Pruss – our Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher

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