Living with Someone Who Suffers From Autism Spectrum Disorder
When someone has autism they are usually placed somewhere within the autism spectrum disorder. What are autism spectrum disorders? Well, it can be categorized by the following:
- Ongoing deficiencies in communication and social interaction
- Repetitive behavior, hobbies or interested that are restricted to a certain type
- Symptoms that present themselves within the child’s first year or two
- Symptoms that impair the child’s ability to socialize or participate in important areas of being.
When you say ‘autism spectrum disorder’ you are referring to a varied range of symptoms, skills and levels of deficiency or impairment that children with autism can suffer from. While some suffer mildly with their symptoms, others can be become intensely disabled by them.
How Many Are at Risk of ASD?
Autism Spectrum Disorders are becoming more common but the exact amount of children who become infected varies depending on when and where the studies are done. However, typically, on average 1 in 68 children will suffer from Autism in the United States with boys being four to five times more likely.
Guidelines for the diagnosis have changed in recent years, encompassing more children that have mild symptoms. This may be why it seems that the numbers have increased so much recently. However, if children with only mild symptoms should be given the same opportunities at autism treatment centers as those with severe symptoms.
How to Live with Autism Spectrum Disorders
You may feel unequipped or unprepared to help your child through their disorder as far as care and education goes but don’t worry, there are many treatment options and programs and resources that are available to help you out.
When a child with autism reaches the teen years, this can be particularly stressful and confusing to the child as well as the parents. Adolescents already become more aware of other people and the significance of relationship but most teenagers are thinking about appearance and peer pressure and acne and the opposite gender whereas teens with ASD are using this time to see how different they are from their peers. This can be a very difficult time for them but it also may encourage them to try and reach out and acquire social skills. However, for others it can cause them to retreat into themselves, succumbing to depression and anxiety. Do not be surprised if your teen with ASD exhibits more symptoms that before as they try to work through all of these new feelings.
Therapy and medication can often be helpful during this time to help your child come to terms with the changes they are experiencing.
How to Be an Adult with ASD
There are some options for adults with ASD. Milder symptom showing adults may not need the assistance that others require but in case they do, here are some living arrangement examples that can be helpful.
- Staying at home- if the family chooses to have their adult child continue to live with them, there is government assistance available to help them continue to care for their child. Autism centers will often reach out and offer activities and times for the caregivers to get a little break when needed.
- Living at other homes- there are families who will open their homes specifically for adults with disabilities in order to help them and care for them. Often times, these families will teach the disabled adult simple skills to help him or her care for themselves.
- Group living- this is when a group home offers the disabled adult a place in an home or apartment that is supervised by trained professionals who can help with the basic needs of the residents. Meal prep and cleaning and personal care are all included in these group homes. However, the great things about these homes is they still try to give the residents as much independence as they think they can handle.
So, if you feel that you are coming to the end of your rope caring for someone with autism spectrum disorders, do not feel bad. It is better for them and you to have a mutual and healthy relationship and if that can only happen if they are not under your constant supervision, then that is perfectly okay. Group homes and autism centers are great places that make the residents feel loved, cared for and safe.