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How To Become An Empowered Autism Parent: 6 Tips On How To Become More Confident In Your Parenting

Written by: Guest Writer, Rachelle Fritz

 

Is it possible to be a confident parent raising a child on the Autism Spectrum?

Absolutely! Receiving a diagnosis of Autism for your child can be emotionally hard to deal with. Whether your child was recently diagnosed or they’ve been diagnosed for a while, Most Moms struggle with their decisions and plans moving forward to best help their child.


From the day a child gets a diagnosis of Autism, Moms go full force into trying “all the things” to help their child. Whether it be diet changes, therapies, early intervention, etc. A Mother’s main priority revolves solely around her child and what she can do to ease the symptoms of Autism. Then one day, you hit an emotional brick wall. This happened to me and many mothers I know in the same situation. It’s awful. You have a complete emotional breakdown, and you don’t recognize yourself anymore. You feel like a terrible Mom, and you may question your ability actually to be a good parent.


Children on the Autism Spectrum

The fact is, most Moms who have children on the Autism Spectrum neglect themselves & their needs. We feel good doing this because we feel like we are better Moms for being so laser-focused. We rarely find time for ourselves, often staying up late, impacting sleep just to get a quiet moment. Our dedication is so on point that we don’t even realize that our happiness indicates whether our children are making progress. In return, our confidence dissipates before it ever has a chance to exist truly. To feel confident as a Mom, you must prioritize yourself and your needs as a Mom. Below, you will find healthy suggestions for doing this properly.


6 healthy tips to become an empowered parent


1. Recognize & validate your emotions

Let’s forget about being “Super Mom” and normalize that I'm “Survival-Mode Mom.” Embrace your fears & anxieties as they are. Be gentle with yourself. There is such a thing as “mourning” the child you thought you would have. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child, but it can feel very much like a loss and there’s nothing wrong with that.


2. Deal with your feelings and emotions

A diagnosis of Autism can be emotionally hard to process. Don’t allow yourself (or others) to tell you to “stay positive” or to be hopeful. Don’t force it. Those feelings will eventually come, but it’s important to be honest about where you are mentally. It’s ok to be upset. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be scared. You have to go through your feelings/emotions and not avoid them. Avoiding how you feel only intensifies them and increases the chance of caregiver burnout. Feel your feelings, but then allow yourself to talk about them with people that you feel emotionally safe with.


3. Keep an open mind

Being receptive to other ideas centered around your child will be one of the best things you will ever do for yourself and your child. Take ideas and suggestions with a grain of salt. Learn how to say “Thanks for the tip” instead of getting upset or offended. For every 10 ideas, you may find that 2 actually help your child and you would've never known had you chosen to be closed minded. Don’t put that pressure of thinking you have to know it all to be a good Mom.


4. Stay educated on your child’s specific needs

This is crucial! Stay educated on Autism. Stay educated on your child’s specific sensory needs. Not one child on the Spectrum is alike. For example, one child might seek sensory input, while the next child does not. Using sensory seeking tools for your sensory avoider can be harmful. Knowledge is key. If you don’t know your child's specifics, contact your child’s diagnostician and ask.


5. Surround yourself with supportive people

If you don’t already have people who support you and your child, you need to find them. There are way too many of us Moms in this world dealing with the same things that you are dealing with. Start with local support groups in your area. Online is a nice option, but there are few things as valuable as in-person interaction since that helps bond people, and you can make some lifelong friends along the way. Nothing makes a Mom feel more Empowered than connecting with other Empowered Mothers going through the same journey!


6. Make time for yourself

Last, but certainly not least, It is IMPERATIVE that you make some time for yourself. (I struggle with this the most). Always remember that we do no good for our children when we choose to live life running around on an empty tank. Your needs are just as important as your child’s, and you will be better for them when you prioritize alone time. Put some time on your calendar to schedule time for YOU or it won’t happen. I know this can be tough to do, but if you prioritize scheduling time for yourself, this will help tremendously and help you feel better.

In other words

Confidence is a feeling. It is an Empowered Feeling that stems from letting go of things that you can’t control and becoming proactive with your own internal struggles. An Empowered Parent knows where they are emotionally and allows themselves to feel their feelings without needing to put on a metaphorical mask. She continually educates herself on her child’s specific needs and is also receptive to different ideas and suggestions. She is deliberate about working to improve things for her child and herself. She knows her space is sacred, so she surrounds herself with supportive people and she’s intentional with making time for herself because she knows that in return, she will feel better, do better, and be better for herself and for her child.


For more info, follow me on Instagram and visit my website!

 

Rachelle Fritz, Guest Writer Brainz Magazine

Rachelle Fritz is a wife, a mother of 2 neurodiverse children, and a former mental health therapist turned Autism Parent Coach. Her passion is to help other Mothers with children on the Autism Spectrum focus on their thoughts, attitude, and belief systems so that they can parent with more confidence. Rachelle believes that in order to effectively parent your child, you must recognize your own inner struggles that directly impact your parenting abilities. Rachelle understands the issues surrounding parenting children on the Autism Spectrum as well as the inner struggles that Mothers go through because she has been there. She uses her professional and personal experiences with her own teenage son on the Autism Spectrum to help other Mothers focus on their emotional health so that they can be the empowered parent they’re truly meant to be.

Rachelle offers 1:1 coaching sessions and will soon offer group coaching in the near future.

You can find Rachelle on Instagram @autismparentcoach where she shares her thoughts, opinions and Mama Mantras aimed specifically for Mothers with children on the Autism Spectrum.

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