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Staying Organized in the Chaos of Parenting an Autistic Child

This article on staying organized in the chaos of parenting an autistic child is offered by Jenny Wise with some tips for you to consider.

Staying Organized in the Chaos of Parenting an Autistic Child

Staying Organized
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Raising an autistic child presents many unique challenges as their likes, dislikes, and behaviors are often different from their peers and even your other children. However, you can overcome many challenges by keeping yourself organized as you learn to juggle your responsibilities along with your children’s schedules. These tips could help.

Organization and Healthcare

Autistic children tend to see their healthcare providers more than neurotypical children. They may also have co-occurrences that make their healthcare more complex. One smart move here is to keep your children’s health records, school transcripts, and other pertinent papers organized in a PDF. PDF documents are typically preferred by medical providers because they don’t lose information and the layout stays the same whether your providers are reading from their phone, a tablet, or a desktop. Further, you can save them to your phone – PDFs go to the downloads folder by default but depends on where you saved it – for quick access, even if you don’t have an internet connection.

Another important element to being organized is keeping up with a calendar of appointments, including your and your child support group.

A Clean And Cozy Home around an Autistic Child

For autistic children, clutter can become a problem as they need structured environments. If you feel able you can start by clearing out extraneous pieces of furniture and decor that you do not need and that do not promote your well-being. Once you’ve gotten rid of what you no longer want, you might wish to purchase new items that better accommodate your family. Before you do this, measure your room; Lowe’s offers insights on measuring both rectangular and odd-shaped spaces. If your new pieces won’t fit, consider moving some things around to accommodate them or looking for smaller yet comparable items.

Children on the spectrum appreciate not only clean and orderly areas, but they also need a calming environment that allows them to get away from sensory disruption. Consider giving them a bed tent, white noise machine, firm mattress, and plenty of pillows.

Dinnertime: A Major Challenge

One of the greatest challenges parents with children with autism face is dinner. Kids with autism are often averse to certain textures, which means that introducing new foods may result in a meltdown. Unfortunately, this can put them on a very narrow diet, which can have a negative impact on their health. Organize your meal-shopping endeavors by offering foods that are similar in texture. Another important step here is to keep mealtimes scheduled as autistic children typically do best with clear expectations, routines, and rules.

Educational Considerations for an Autistic Child

Children with a diagnosis of autism typically have two educational options. NHS explains that this is a mainstream school or a special school for children with unique educational needs. Choosing the latter is often a wise decision for children that need more hands-on attention in the classroom than their educators can provide. If you choose this route, Living Autism can help you find a program that focuses on social, emotional, and mental health for students ages three and up. Autism schools can also help keep you organized and, in many cases, can arm your children with additional tools they need to thrive as adults on the spectrum.

Staying organized means different things for different families. When your family has an autistic child, organizing their medical records (and keeping them as a PDF on your phone), streamlining mealtime, keeping an organized home, and providing them with an education that meets their needs are all ways that could help you to stay on top of things without getting buried under schedules, appointments, and the other challenges that go with parenting an atypical child.

If you need help looking for services for an individual with an autism spectrum condition, we will do our best to help. Click below for the Autism Placement Support Service.