How autism affects a family: Insight into life on the spectrum
Loved ones of a recently diagnosed child naturally wonder how autism affects a family. Our staff at Trumpet Behavioral Health receives many questions from parents about how different life will look moving forward, how their schedules and activities will change, which sacrifices will be necessary and how the child’s siblings will be affected.
The family system of a child with autism will be molded into something new. The direction on how autism affects a family is up to them. It is possible for a home to not only function well, but to be enhanced by the introduction of autism into its core.
Each child and family is unique
How autism affects a family has much to do with the child’s specific symptoms, presentation and skills. Some children may be verbal, others not. Some have high levels of self-care, others need more assistance. Some have highly restrictive behaviors, others less so. Thus, families may be inhibited in some areas, but not in others.
The therapist who a child is working with creates an individualized plan that enables the entire family to function better together. Parents and siblings often enjoy employing the new adaptations because doing so brings a sense of inclusivity and accomplishment into the home.
Three key universal changes in how autism affects a family
How much autism affects a family is unique. But it is comforting to know the broad changes that can be expected. Within Trumpet, you will find a camaraderie amongst our families, as they all relate to one another through the following dynamics.
- Families of children with autism will need to interact with different professionals and services. Behavior analysts, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and physicians are commonly folded into the schedule. The focus of each of these specialists is to ensure that high-quality intervention is a part of the child’s life and family plan.
- The way a child interacts with their world influences how autism affects a family. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but activities and events that may seem common to others may be overly stimulating for the loved one with autism. This presents an opportunity for families to be more thoughtful about the activities they engage in, and to plan for extra support beforehand.
- How autism affects a family is profoundly influenced by the growth of community. Our clients at Trumpet rely upon one another for support and encouragement. As the world of autism grows, more parents are coming together to find common ground and to raise awareness. The professionals who serve the child with autism often become like family, providing advice, insight and knowledge into areas of struggle. Parents of a newly diagnosed child quickly discover that they are far from alone in their new landscape.
The area and pace of progression for each child on the spectrum is unique to them, but all are affected by the quality of care they receive from their family and support team. New knowledge, relationships and thoughtful practices tend to have a positive effect on how autism affects a family, strengthening the parents, siblings and child together.
Contact us to discuss how an autism diagnosis may affect your family.