Being a mother is challenging enough, now think of how much more challenging it is for a mother of a child with autism.
April is Autism Awareness month and I wanted to share how we, as a community of mothers, can support those whose kids have autism.
1. Learn about autism.
A great way to connect with the family is to learn about autism. Not only is it great that you will have a better understanding but the mother will feel REALLY supported. Ask her questions and let her know you’re coming from a place of wanting to understand in order to better support her.
2. Be a good listener.
Your mama friend may have plenty of rough days, therapy and doctor visits, and new diagnosis information. Be compassionate and empathetic. Allow her a safe space to vent and provide her a pick me upper if she needs one. If
3. Provide care for mama.
Invite her to lunch, a spa day or a movie. If she has other children offer to babysit when you have a chance. If you are comfortable, offer to babysit the child with autism. Allow the mom to take time for her own self-care.
4. Help her advocate.
Join her in the fight for autism awareness. Attend meetings with her, walks, or other support groups. Show her she is not alone in this fight.
5. Go the extra mile for her.
Moms of children diagnosed with autism may be feeling overwhelmed and feeling depleted. They may not be available to return your phone calls, texts, or emails, as they are busy with meetings, therapies or calling insurance companies and school districts.
So go the extra mile, offer to swing by her house with coffee or give her a call to check in with her. Whatever you do, remember she needs your support.
As moms, we all go through our different sets of challenges and hardships but coming together as a community and providing each other support is what makes us such strong, beautiful, amazing women. If you know of anyone whose child has been diagnosed with autism, lend a helping hand, you may be providing that mom a ray of light she has been missing.
For more information on autism, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
Feel Empowered. Feel Strong. Feel Validated Mamas.
About the Author: Susana Marquez
I am Susana Marquez, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT105624) and a specialized Maternal Mental Health Clinician. My services include therapy and support groups for mothers suffering from a perinatal mood disorder during pregnancy and/or postpartum. I help mother’s take control of their mental and emotional well being through their darkest and most challenging moments. With empathy and understanding, I help them heal and grow into better versions of themselves while knowing the value within them.