Raising a child with autism has it challenges, but the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are other moms, dads, siblings, friends, and families, going through similar situations, and there are plenty of of organizations and groups available for support.
First and foremost, it’s important to build a support system of family and friends you know you can trust. You’ll need someone who is willing to step in when you’re overwhelmed or when you’ve hit your limit, whom you know you can rely on without feeling guilty for asking. Caring for yourself is an integral part of being able to care for your child. Consider finding someone you can just talk to when times are tough. If you have a friend or family member you go to when you need to vent and who will listen to you without judgment, that alone can help lift a huge burden.
Having a child with autism is not easy, but with a solid support team, you can do anything. If you’re married or a have a partner, create a system that works for both of you - know how much each of you can tolerate, and remember that it’s okay to need (and ask for) a break.
The biggest online resource, and a great place to start when looking for more information, is Autism Speaks. Its website is full of information about autism diagnoses, treatment, care, connections to support systems in your area, and lists of other organizations where you can learn more or get involved.
There are countless websites and blogs full of research, current studies, and links to learn more about your child, how they see the world, about autism in general, and, most importantly, to remind you and your family that there are others going through the same things. It can be helpful to stay on top of the current research and be informed about what is going on in the autism community.
Above all else, you absolutely do not have to go through this on your own! It is always okay to ask for help.