The importance of remembering your own needs when caring for a child with ASD - An Autism Project Article

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Remembering Your Own Needs

Many parents are engrossed in ASD research and spend countless hours advocating for their children to ensure that they receive the maximum services available. When you are working on pursuing what’s best for your child, you may forget about your own needs.

To be at your best for your child, you need time to eat, relax, sleep, and care for yourself. Make sure the time you devote to ASD does not consume your entire day. Spend time with your partner doing things that are not ASD related. Take time to feel good about yourself and your relationship with your partner. Ultimately this will benefit your whole family and enable you to better care for your child.

To ensure that you devote some time to yourself, it may help to make a social appointment you can’t cancel, go to the library, or exercise. Make a date with a friend and ask for help keeping it. Down time for you is an investment not only in your future productivity and happiness, but in your family’s too.

Q & A: “I feel guilty when my child is not engaged in therapy-related activities. Is it okay to give my child down time once in a while?”

Absolutely! It is important to remember that you need time not only for yourself, but also to manage your other responsibilities (such as doing laundry and cooking dinner), and so allowing your child some down time is not only reasonable, but recommended. Give yourself permission to take breaks from working with your child and allow him time to engage in activities of his choice.

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