5 Tips for Raising Multiple Children on the Autism Spectrum
Raising a child on the autism spectrum is hard. Raising two boys on the spectrum is even harder especially when their needs are the complete opposite. It’s been rough to say the least. I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. I have tried multiple things and have failed at some. However, in the middle of the failure and chaos I have found a few things that work for my little family.
1 | Everyone gets therapy
It might be easy for a family to invest all of their time and money into the child that is more severe. However, the child that is on the higher end of the spectrum needs just as much help with their challenges but in a different way. Whether you have two or more children on the spectrum, they all need to be offered the same amount of therapy to help them achieve strengths through their challenges.
2 | We’re a Team
I talk to the boys and teach them that we are in this journey together. If one of us can’t handle something then we all support the one who is unable to do it. For instance, sometimes my son Trenton is unable to do something due to his severe challenges with autism. If we are somewhere and Trenton needs to leave or can’t do it, then we leave as a family. This has displayed so much to my boys. It has taught Andrew to accept his brother’s challenges and it doesn’t make Trenton feel left out.
Trenton has just as many feelings as you and I do, but the only difference is that he can’t express them. Therefore, by teaching the boys that we are a team, it has made a huge difference in their relationship. Feeling like a failure and depression can be common feelings for individuals on the spectrum and I truly believe by enforcing a team unity, it can help diminish those feelings.
3 | Routine
One of the best things for our family has been establishing a routine. This is important for one child but really important for the structure of the family when there is more than one child with autism in the household. Our routine consists of both boys and their schedules. When they both know what to do then it will make your life a little easier. Of course, we do it as a family to teach unity and teamwork. It by no means has been a walk in the ballpark enforcing routine and some days the routine just simply doesn’t happen. However, when the boys are on their A-game, it works wonders.
4 | Happy Medium
Life doesn’t always work out with both boys being happy. When those situations arise, we find our happy medium. Sometimes it is letting Andrew pick his favorite drive thru first while Trenton waits to go thru his. Even though I know Trenton won’t be happy and will cry the entire time until we reach McDonald’s. But, it will save me from having an unhappy Andrew who would have shut down the rest of the night and not speak to anyone. Again, it’s just finding that happy medium by following your gut instinct.
5 | One size doesn’t fit all
What I do for Trenton doesn’t necessarily have to be done for Andrew. Therefore, even though it may take more time and more planning, I have to meet each child’s unique needs. Whether it is preparing for our next day or how they are rewarded for good behavior, both get what they need in a way that meets their needs.
On some days, I feel like I fail. However, other days, I feel like we are doing awesome. There will always be days where you will feel like nothing works. Nonetheless, don’t give up! It takes a lot of patience and multiple trial and errors until you find what works for you and your family.
Are YOU raising multiple kids on the spectrum?
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