Although little is written about it, it is now a common and recognizable problem; a burnout in parents of children with autism. From the moment that the diagnosis Autism is made with a child, most families go through a range of emotions. Every family member will experience this in his / her own way.
Emotions can range from relief and guilt to denial and fear of the future. Once the diagnosis is made, this requires quite a bit of the adaptability of parents and other family members.
But also tensions between the parents often do not matter.
Father and / or mother experiences the upbringing, care and attention of a child with Autism as "heavy", because every free minute goes out to the guidance, support and guidance of the child with Autism, to make the (social) development as good as possible. promote. Not only the child with ASD suffers from heavy pressure and stimuli from his / her environment, but parents also have to deal with permanent pressure and stress, either in a different way.
You can think of the following questions and / or so-called "headaches":
- Am I doing all right?
- Where did it go wrong and what am I doing wrong?
- How do I know which behavior typically belongs to his / her age and / or what belongs to his / her disability?
- The frustrating search for the right school, guidance, teacher, assistance, etc.
- The incomprehension and suspicion from society, because how do I ensure that my child will end up "well" in society?
- What does the future look like of my child?
In general, it is the mothers who quit their job, in order to focus full-time on raising and guiding the child with Autism. For the outside world, this often comes up against misunderstanding, because on the outside of a child often not 1-2-3 is visible that it has Autism. Indeed, with the right guidance and guidance, you can come to an end, but this requires a lot of commitment from the parents. The constant attention demanded from parents - especially from the mothers - often contributes to having too little time for themselves, ultimately leading to physical and emotional exhaustion.
Another cause for a burn-out among parents of children with autism is the fact that one feels lonely and therefore ends up in isolation, because the upbringing of a child with "unusual needs" can not be shared with others. In the absence of knowledge and understanding, the environment often does not know how to respond or HOW to deal with children with Autism and thereby also put the parents at a distance. As if you carry some infectious disease with you.
In terms of assistance and guidance from parents of children with Autism, we are still running short in this society. There is generally little interest and knowledge for the lifelong limitation that the daily functioning of the child has with Autism and the burden the parents have to bear in order to allow their child to participate as well and as badly as possible in this society.
And of course there is something positive to report! A child with Autism always gets 100% attention from his / her parents. Attention, which many other "normal" children may be short of, because they are bouncing from one (after-school) reception to another childcare / reception, because these parents are both (too) busy and / or working.
As a hands-on expert and single mother, I experienced first hand how heavy and stressful it is (... and can be) to give the right care and attention.