A parent who has a child with autism may need more social networking than an average parent may ever need. There are many autism parent support groups in the United States, and deciding which one to join could depend on your state, your needs as a parent, or the needs of your autistic child. In this guide, we look at some avenues where you can get autism parents support groups.
1. Autism Speaks:
Autism Speaks is the world’s largest fundraising event to support the financial needs of individuals with Autism and parents of such children or adults. As a parent, there are many ways you can get support from Autism Speak support groups.
You can connect to other parents on their social platform called MyAutismTeam. This is an established subsidiary of Autism Speaks, accessible at myautismteam.com. In this support group, you can connect with parents who have children in the age bracket of your autistic child. You may also find parents in your state, and there is much you can share with them. Autism Speaks acknowledges that you want to be understood as a parent to an autistic child. To ensure you are fully supported as you embark to looking after your kid to live one day at a time, Aspergers/Autism Network (AANE) is there for you.
This support group offers more than you can ever imagine as a parent with a child who has Autism. AANE provides emotional regulation, social connections, daily living tips, family relationship tips, and more.
2. National Autism Association (NAA):
NAA is yet another resource where you may find your support group as a parent to an autistic child. NAA is a non-profit organization that fundraises money to support families and individuals with autism.
The reason why you may prefer the National Autism Association over other autism parent support groups in the United States is because of its area-specific support groups. This allows you to connect with other parents near you who may understand your conditions better due to the locality of your issues.
To find a support group in your state, the organization provides you with a dedicated support group platform accessible at yellowpagesforkids.com.
3. The Autism Community in Action (TACA):
As a parent, sometimes you need professional support for the individual-specific needs of your autistic child. Maybe you are in a couple of autism parent support groups, but none offer you the support you seek. This is where TACA may come in to help you approach autism conditions and daily life of your child from a new perspective.
TACA helps you through their dedicated App, available for both iOS and Android devices. The App is called TACA Connect, and you can also access it with your web browser if you don’t have the App or do not wish to download it.
The Autism Community in Action (TACA) also has a private Facebook group dedicated to parents with autistic children. This dedicated private group has been live since 2018, and it awaits parents with autistic children to join, learn and get parental mentorship there.
4. Autism Society of America:
You may not know where to start in finding a support group to connect with other parents in your community. In such a scenario, you may want a knowledgeable person to guide you through the journey of connection to the most appropriate support group for your case scenario. In such circumstances, you may consider the Autism Society’s National Helpline. The national helpline does not help you to address the autism condition of your child. Instead, it helps you identify the best autism parent support groups in your state or area.
Challenges Facing Parents with Autistic Children
The life of a mum or a dad with an autistic child is not the same as that of a parent whose children are not suffering from this condition. There are some case-specific challenges that these parents face. They include but not limited to:
1. Financial challenge: Keeping up with the needs of an autistic child may be financially demanding. From health to therapies to a caregiver, all these might be financially draining for a parent, especially if they do not have any support system.
2. Coping with work-life balance: A parent might be too committed to serving their children and default their work mandates. In other cases, the job may be too demanding, and a parent may have very limited time to spend and take care of their autistic child.
3. Stigma: It can happen anywhere, at the workplace, or even within the community where one lives. Stigma results in an emotional strain on a parent.
Benefits of Joining Autism Parent Support Groups
1. Sharing experiences: autism support groups experiences other parents go through with their autistic children. You can also share the experiences you go through with your autistic child. This prompts vibrant discussion on how to respond and handle each of these commonly shared experiences among parents whose children have this disorder.
2. Learning new tips: As a parent, you are probably looking for new strategies to support your kid in the best way possible. Since you wish them the best life possible regardless of their conditions, you get to learn what makes or breaks the quality of life for your autistic child.
3. Emotional support: Living with a child who has autism can be hard, especially for first-timers. Before a parent accepts their child with their underlying autism conditions, it wants some high-level self-actualization and acceptance of a child as they are. This kind of support and self-awareness is available in support groups. They help a parent to embrace their kids and special rather than perceiving them as liabilities.