If you’re the parents of a child who is on the autism spectrum, then good and helpful information and education is key to you. There are dozens of conflicting messages, extreme views online, and other worrisome sources that can unsettle and confuse parents who just want the best for their children.
You can turn to objective sources like “Autism – A Guide for Educators, Clinicians and Parents” for comprehensive and measured information, and you can consult with your family doctors who know your situation well and can offer key insight, but it’s impossible to overstate the importance of good information and education for parents on the subject of autism.
There’s a Lot of Misinformation About Autism
Myths and outright lies about autism are rampant not only here in Australia but around the world. There is seemingly no end to misinformation, such as the idea that all children with autism have the same skills and face the same difficulties, or that children with autism are prodigies or savants. It’s critical that if you are a parent of a child on the spectrum that you are able not just to dispel myths from others, but have the accurate information for yourself and your own peace of mind.
There’s nothing quite like myths and misinformation for stirring up stress and anxiety, and those are things you can do without when you have enough of a challenge dealing with a child with autism. Myths aren’t just counterproductive to families finding good solutions for their child, but are also oxygen for the fires of stigma that burn bright for autism even now in 2021. Cancelling out misinformation and raising awareness is the best way to fight these stigmas and better help those dealing with autism to find solutions that work for them.
Understanding is the Biggest Step Towards Acceptance
There are parents who understandably struggle to accept their child’s condition and who might be in denial about it. When swimming in this ignorant fog, it’s easy for parents to make poor decisions on so-called treatments, or even misdiagnose or mischaracterize autism as something else like poor behaviour resulting in excessively harsh discipline. With proper understanding of what autism is, what it means for them and their child, they can get on the right path to acceptance and productive solutions and therapies.
Autism can mean big life changes, but there’s no reason to despair, nor is there any reason to think that life will be worse. Information is the best weapon to turning the situation into a more positive one. With understanding comes acceptance, and with acceptance comes empathy, and with empathy comes the support that a child with autism badly needs.
Good Information Leads to Positive and Effective Therapies
Just as misinformation leads to poor outcomes, good information brings the opposite, more positive outcomes. For example, research has shown that there can be some improvement in social engagement when children engage in play therapy. Besides that, play also helps those kids on the spectrum to develop skills that they can use all through their lives, and it supports better regulation of the sensory systems, which is a key factor behind autistic children gaining a better sense of safety and connection with the world.
Good information tells you that there is no miracle cure, and that a lot of work will be needed to ensure a good life for your family. But at the very least it sets you on the right path and toward more productive and positive outcomes. The right path is hardly ever the easiest.