Seven Tips To Support Special Needs Parents During Autism Acceptance Month

Author and Autism Coach Deanna Picon Offers Seven Ways To Support Autism and Special Needs Parents

Special needs parents deserve our respect, recognition and help, especially during the pandemic. Autism Acceptance Month is a perfect time to express our support for their families.”
— Deanna Picon
NEW YORK, NY, US, April 15, 2021 / -- Parenting a child with special needs is no easy feat for even the most devoted parents. Taking care of all facets of a disabled child’s care during the COVID-19 pandemic is even more demanding and time-consuming.

“Autism Acceptance Month is an ideal time for family, friends and the public to display their support for special needs parents,” said Deanna Picon, founder of Your Autism Coach, LLC and author of The Autism Parents' Guide to Reclaiming Your Life. “The coronavirus pandemic has been particularly tough for special needs families. For more than a year, the essential routines and support services for special needs children and adults have been severely disrupted, resulting in extra pressures and responsibilities in these households.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 54 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder.

"Special needs mothers and fathers are hidden heroes, who bravely tackle autism and all the challenges and responsibilities that accompany it. They may be your sibling, your good friend, your neighbor or colleague," says Picon. "During this pandemic, they’ve taken on additional obligations and duties with full-time caregiving, remote learning and managing the challenging behavioral issues of their children.”

Family and friends can use these tips to make a difference in the lives of special needs parents:

1. Reach out. Special needs moms and dads frequently feel alone and isolated, so it's helpful to let them know you're there for them. Due to the pandemic, many are feeling even more isolated, anxious and depressed. Email, text or call just to say "How’s it going?" Use various social media platforms to keep in touch and lend support.

2. Provide encouragement. Let special needs parents vent, cry and blow off some steam. They won’t expect you to solve their problems or provide fast or easy solutions. A friendly face on a Zoom call or a reassuring voice on the other end of the telephone may be all they need. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approaching, it’s a perfect time to send a greeting card letting them know that they’re amazing parents.

3. Give a well-deserved break. Parenting is a 24/7, 365 day job for these parents, so any time they can get a few hours for themselves is welcome. After being stuck indoors during the winter, now is a perfect time for everyone to go outside, get some fresh air and exercise. Offer to take their son or daughter for a day at the park or walk in the neighborhood. And if you’re a close friend or family member, perhaps you can keep their child overnight or for a weekend.

4. Lend A Hand. With increased family responsibilities, parents don’t have much time to take care of all household tasks. Pick up some groceries at the supermarket when you shop or drop off some mail at the post office. Helping out with simple errands will save parents time and energy.

5. Send an unexpected meal or snack. A bucket of chicken, a pizza pie, a box of fish and chips or any take-out meal from neighborhood restaurants can make everyone feel happy.

A little basket of popcorn or a small bowl of fruit or nuts. Any snacks are definitely guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of special needs parents and delight their kids. With many theatrical movies currently being released to streaming services, any night can be a movie night. The family can have a good time, right at home and wind down from a busy day.

The public can help special needs families in several ways:

6. Show your support. Charitable donations to regional and national autism organizations are appreciated and welcome. These organizations work tirelessly to help special needs individuals and families with various programs. Buy goods and services from companies that contribute to autism-related causes.

7. Increase public knowledge and understanding. Autism Acceptance Month is an ideal time to learn more about this disorder. Read some articles, watch a few TV news reports or go online to achieve a better understanding.

Your Autism Coach, LLC provides personalized guidance, comprehensive support programs and seminars that address the concerns of special needs parents. On Twitter (@yourautismcoach), look for the latest parenting tips and advice from Deanna Picon. She shows parents how to overcome the challenges of raising a child with special needs, while building a rewarding life for themselves. Deanna is the recipient of the 2020 and 2018 “Top Parental Advice Writer” and 2015 “Top Life Coach Writer” awards from Autism Parenting Magazine.

Deanna Picon
Your Autism Coach, LLC
+1 347-869-4705
email us here

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