The Supporting Role Of Extended Family When A Loved One Has Autism

When family members are trained on how to effectively manage autism symptoms the benefits are not only seen in the loved one who has autism, but also extends to other members of the family. These benefits include reduced stress and increased bonding.

Receiving a diagnosis of autism can be unsettling for the whole family, but don’t let it make you feel helpless. There are lots of things parents and other family members can do to support everyone involved.

 Help Apply Therapy Skills To Daily Life

To increase the effectiveness of therapy, the skills must be reinforced at home and in different environments. When parents and caregivers implement therapy techniques, they provide consistency and reinforce learning. Helping your family members practice what they have learned on how to create the best environment for their child is integral.  In addition, participating in therapy sessions with your family members can be as beneficial for you as it is for the child’s parents. You will feel more confident in the techniques and the therapist can instruct you on different ways to reinforce the skills with your child at home and elsewhere.

Our online therapy services make this easier for family members by offering the flexibility to participate in therapy from any location. Our families love that they don’t have to travel to see a therapist and gain back valuable time to spend with their child.

Connect by Play

Playtime is a great time to connect.  Take time to watch your loved one enjoy their playtime on their own- and don’t feel as though you have to interrupt them while watching.  Create notes based off your observations and then begin to slowly engage them through their play.  Go at their pace and pair yourself as a reinforcer. 

Offer/ Take Support

Anyone that cares for a child will tell you there are days that leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and drained of all your energy.  This is especially true for parents of children with autism. It is essential that caregivers receive support. For extended family members, offering time for the parents to take a break can be very helpful, even if only for a few hours.