Family is a sacred space. Most of us carry our nuclear family in our hearts every day as a representation of what is best about our world and our species. In a perfect world, that’s how it should be for everyone. Unfortunately, the family is not a safe space for everyone.
Mental health issues are one of the most daunting challenges a family can face. The human mind is in many ways a mystery, and mental health issues have been taboo in our society for far too long. In the last few decades, however, we have come to understand many diagnoses in a more sophisticated way. While diagnoses like Autism Spectrum Disorder can be frightening and overwhelming, families dealing with these conditions should know that they are not alone.
There are several treatments for autism spectrum disorder that can help your child and in turn, help your family.
About Autism Spectrum Disorder
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that 1 out of every 68 people in the United States is born with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Of these individuals, academic and social ability ranges from severe impairment to above-average intelligence with some social disconnect. Life can be very isolated for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; lack of intuitive social functioning makes forming friendships difficult. Differences in brain functioning can make traditional academic programming insurmountable.
The Autism Society of America and the National Center for Education Statistics calculate the difference in the cost of educating a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder to be over $8,000 more per year than educating a child without specialized academic needs. Many communities may not be able to sustain educational programs that are tailored to these special needs students. Educational programs that do exist in these communities may only address the academic side of the struggle, and not necessarily the emotional or social issues in play.
When children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disorders do not get the help and support they need, they are not able to be healthy members of a functioning family. Everyone has different needs, but the needs of these individuals are so specialized that they all too often go unmet. The result of this can be anywhere from chaotic to catastrophic for the family in question.
It can be incredibly painful for a parent to have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder whose needs are going unmet. The frustration of not being able to understand or connect with one’s own child is devastating. Watching them suffer emotionally, or fail socially and academically, can be unbearable. What parent wouldn’t do everything in their power to alleviate this situation?
Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Depending on the severity of your child’s ASD, his or her particular strengths and weaknesses, and the resources available, there are a range of interventions and treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder that have a demonstrated therapeutic and beneficial effect for adults, adolescents, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Keep in mind that every individual responds to various treatments in a different way; it may take time to find the method that is most effective for your child. Consult with a specialist and consider treatment options such as applied behavior analysis, medication, dietary intervention, sensory integration therapy, wilderness therapy, and residential treatment.
Sometimes the most difficult relationships turn out to be the most rewarding. This is certainly true for many people who work with, live with, and love individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you find that your family is overwhelmed by the burden of living with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ask for help. Don’t suffer alone, because you are not alone. Seek the treatment your child needs and your whole family will grow as a result.
Resources for ASD
To learn more about how you can help manage the strain that having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder places on the family, and to learn more about different intervention options for ASD, download our free white paper.