Dear Jacqui, Please could you advise me how to manage the emotional roller coaster of dealing with my primary school child’s autistic spectrum difficulties?

Thank you for raising this. It can be emotionally demanding, tiring and stressful managing behaviour of children on the autistic spectrum yet also very rewarding. It is also important that your close friends and family understand how to support you, your child and your family. Here are some things to think about:

  • Take care of your own physical and emotional health first. This is hard for mums to do so I remind them of this example: when travelling by plane, in case of emergency, parents are to put on their own oxygen mask first before putting on their child’s. Seek professional counselling if you are feeling depressed and not coping.
  • Take time for your spouse or partner. The more supportive relationships you have, the more energy you will have for your child.
  • Take note of your child’s emotional and behavioural responses in different situations. Anticipate which situations will be more challenging so that you can take precautions to manage it.
  • Take the lead from your child and engage in positive experiences that they enjoy, and you can enjoy too. Add the appropriate level of language i.e. one – two word level or short phrases, to what you are experiencing.
  • Take the time to praise all positive behaviours that you see your child doing.

Please book an appointment if you require specific advice for your situation.