Coping Strategies for Autism Caregivers
Tips from Experienced Child Behavior Therapists in Dallas, TX
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of disabilities that can significantly impact an individual’s cognitive skills, social skills, communication skills, on-task behaviors, self-care abilities, and more. Nurturing or managing children with ASD is no easy task. Parents and caregivers devote most of their time supporting the child’s daily needs. Whether it is feeding, dressing, toileting, transportation to therapy or appointments, play times or study times, they assist in every activity that the child goes through each day. This is over and above their own responsibilities of managing all the household chores and errands, earning a livelihood and managing finances, parenting the siblings, and so on.
Often, Autism caregivers are so deeply entrenched in this routine that they take no breaks, no weekends or holidays off, and find no time to relax or recuperate. Some even feel guilty about taking some time off for themselves. However, many report significant challenges and stress1, 2, and emotional and physical burnout, which can impact their ability to care for the child with ASD.
The experienced professionals for applied behavior therapy in Richardson at Behavior Pioneers
The experienced professionals for Applied Behavior Therapy in Richardson at Behavior Pioneers, an Autism treatment center in Fort Worth, TX offer useful suggestions and effective coping strategies that can help Autism caregivers perform their duties in a healthy and efficient manner.
Self-Care Tips for Autism Caregivers
Children with ASD usually form a deep and secure attachment with their caregivers, making it tough for the caregivers to take any time to recharge or care for themselves. Here are some tips that can make life slightly easier for parents or caregivers of children with Autism:
– Respite Care Services: Look online or ask friends, family or support groups for references for respite care service providers. This will allow you to hire someone to come in and relieve you of your duties for a few hours, or on certain days of the week, giving you the time to focus on your own health and wellbeing.
– Social Support: Whether it is an aunt, a grandparent, or another family member or friend, don’t hesitate to accept help if they offer to share your caregiving responsibilities. Train the people in your network on the specific tasks or needs of the child. Think about creating a rotating schedule where each member can step in at regular intervals to support the child and give you a break.
– Immediate Family Support: A partner, spouse, and even the siblings of the child with ASD can all pitch in to support you with your caregiving responsibilities. Assign a different task to each member of the household or split the responsibilities by days of the week. Once you agree on a schedule, make a visual chart, or create a plan using a mobile app so that everyone in the household knows what they need to do and when.
Once you have made the necessary arrangements to give yourself a break, make the most of that time.
– Book your own medical appointments. Looking after yourself and your health is the best way to care for the child with ASD who depends on you.
– Indulge yourself with spa treatments or other personal care services from time to time. Don’t feel guilty about getting a relaxing massage or going to a salon or nail bar when you are on a well-deserved break.
– Spend time with friends, make plans for a meal or an outing, explore a new café or a store, attend a sporting event, or take the time to work on your hobbies.
– Get some rest, sleep in, binge-watch a TV show, cook your favorite meal, or practice meditation and positive thinking. It is important to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on your caregiving responsibilities after the break.
About the Authors
Behavior Pioneers, LLC, a trusted Autism treatment center in Fort Worth, TX offers ABA therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Their team of experienced and trained child behavior therapists includes Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT), with master’s degrees in Educational Psychology, Special Education, Early Childhood Disorders, Child Development, and Low Incidence Disabilities and Autism.
They create individualized ABA therapy plans in line with every child’s unique needs and developmental goals and aim to improve the quality of life of children with ASD as well as their families.
Led by Clinical Director Brian Tanenbaum, they provide in-home ABA sessions throughout Dallas, TX and Fort Worth, TX, along with clinic-based ABA therapy programs in Richardson, TX, and Carrollton, TX.