Parents of Aspergers children must learn skills and techniques to deal with their children. It can be difficult and hopeless at times with an Aspergers child, especially being a parent of one. If you have an child with aspergers, it is important to be a stable parent in front of your child’s eyes. Learning how to parent an Aspergers child is a challenge for us all.
While you may find it to be somewhat of a relief to know what is causing your child’s unusual behavior, it can also be very overwhelming and scary at the same time. This is because you have to take time to learn about your child’s condition and how to advocate for him while attending school meetings. There are some things that will make it easier for you once you realize them though.
Get Help For Yourself As An Aspergers Parent
Before you can meet your child’s needs you need to take care of yourself. Find a good therapist that you can talk to about your emotions, which may include grief, anger, resentment and even hopelessness. While your friends may want to support you, they don’t know how to help you cope with what you’re going through. Finding an Aspergers support group can be a great help for parents.
They can still be there to watch your child while you take some much needed time off for yourself though. This time can be used for grabbing a cup of coffee, reading a book or going to see a movie – anything that will help you to relax and make you happy. Even though you may feel as though you don’t have time for this, you need to make time for it.
You also need to remember that your spouse and other children are probably feeling just as overwhelmed as you are. Keep in mind that your younger children probably don’t understand why their sibling appears to be getting a lot more attention and while older children may seem to understand on the surface, they may still feel somewhat resentful. This is why it is important to set time aside for special one-on-one time with the rest of the family.
Dealing With Work and Being A Full Time Aspergers Parent
If you have a full-time job should get an FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) form on file. This is something that you should do right away since it will take some time to get all of the paperwork filled out by the appropriate people and signed off on. More than likely you’ll need to leave work occasionally to deal with your child’s issues, appointments and meetings.
This form will show that your absences are medically necessary and may help to protect your job in the end. You may also try to have a designated weekday off for those appointments so that you won’t constantly need to request time off from work. It is also a good idea to look into creative work schedules such as working from home, job share, working 4 ten-hour shifts instead of 5 eight hour shifts. Talk to your employers. They may be quite willing they are to work with you.
Dealing With The School Of Your Aspergers Child
By the time you get your child’s diagnosis you will probably already have some experience dealing with their school. Once you have the diagnosis though you need to call an IEP (individual education plan) meeting with the teacher, principal, special education specialist, school counselor, school psychologist and school nurse. You should also try to get your child’s psychiatrist, pediatrician and therapist to attend as well. If you cannot afford to pay for them to be there, at least get statements from them outlining your child’s needs and what accommodations they recommend.
Be assertive, but not aggressive, throughout the IEP meeting. Stand up for your child’s rights. Legally he is entitled to a quality education. Hopefully, you and the staff will be on the same page with the same goals but if not, consider hiring a professional advocate.
Educate Yourself About Asperger’s
Read everything you can find about Asperger’s (i.e. books, websites). It is important for you to be informed so that you can be an effective advocate for your child. Be critical and ask questions along the way. A great place to find answers is online in message boards. While all of this won’t be easy for you it will greatly help your child. Of course, you must be willing to ask for and accept help. You also need to learn to truly love your child regardless of how “odd” he may act.