When I put the words ‘…how to help a family with…’ into the Google search engine it dropped down to eight suggestions to complete that sentence. These were depression, cancer, alcoholism, drug addiction, bipolar disorder, mental illness, gambling addiction and schizophrenia. I was interested to see what the ideas were for helping families with some of these conditions.
They included things like clean their house, offer to help out with the other children, bring a meal, send cards and emails, call and ask how they are doing, be there to listen if they need to talk, don’t fade out over time, find out what the child likes and give them a gift, have a coffee with them, ask how you could help, keep offering your help even if they refuse at first.
All these ideas are perfectly lovely and helpful for families who are raising a child with a disability.
When it comes to autism I really do think it’s nice to just ask Mom/Mum and Dad how they are, and how their child is doing. If they have other children ask about them too. If the parents want to talk about the topic of autism then they can, but if they don’t then they can just say how things are going with their child or children in general. Either way, just listen and be interested. If appropriate, go ahead and offer some words of acknowledgement or validation that things have been and can be challenging.
Tell Mom/Mum and Dad they are doing a good job. Say something nice about their children. Say something nice about their child with autism. Be encouraging. Show compassion. Be a nice person. It does help.
Happy Autism Awareness…and Acceptance…Day.
If you want more info on this topic please refer to a wonderful article by Kymberly Grosso on the link below.