Taking care of you and him
“Take care of yourself so you can take better care of your loved one”. We hear this all the time and it’s wonderful and important advice! As a caregiver, our own stress levels and overall mental health are vitally important.
How are you at taking this advice? There are times it can be easier said than done, right? And what happens when your “loved one” is your child with Autism? Autism can be an isolating disorder; one that you parents know all too well. How do I connect with my son? How does he see me? How should I touch him, talk with him, share my love with him?
These are likely just a few questions that parents ask themselves and continue to reevaluate as their child grows. Every individual is unique and each way you interact with them is equally unique depending on their stage of development.
Here’s my challenge for you this month, Autism Awareness Month! Ask yourselves these important questions too:
• What am I doing for me, while I’m supporting him?
• What am I doing for my marriage, while I’m supporting him?
• What activities fulfill me, meet my needs, help to support me?
• What emotional reactions am I having to caring for him?
• How am I honoring and caring for those emotions?
Here are a few suggestions to help you to take good care of yourself, while also taking good care of your son!
• Exercise – take a walk, swim, ride a bike
• Relax – treat yourself to a bath and a good book
• Get a sitter and take a date night – reconnect with your spouse
• Talk through your emotional reactions to caregiving. It can be challenging. Honor those reactions and talk with family, friends, your counselor, your pastor.
And who couldn’t use a little more help from their friends right? Parent support from other parents who have been down similar paths can be extremely beneficial. Check out this website for more information on Autism support.
• Autism Speaks