Understanding Health and Behavioral Challenges
Parent Training & Support
- Community Inclusion and Development Alliance (CIDA), Resources Page
- Autism Speaks, A Parent’s Guide to Autism
- Indiana University, Hands in Autism
- Duke University Center for Autism and Brain Development, Resources for Parent, Grandparent or Caregiver
- Autism Research Institute, Webinar Series
- Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge, Webinars
- Monarch Center for Autism, Webinars
- Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network, The Tri-State Webinar Series
- Autism Navigator, Resources for Families of Children With or at Risk for Autism
- The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI), Positive Solutions for Families-Family Routine Guide
Caring for the Caregiver
Looking after a child or children with autism is undoubtedly challenging, but it’s not something you can simply walk away from. To sustain your energy and well-being for the long haul, it’s vital that you also take care of yourself too. Even if carving out “me time” feels a bit awkward at first, try easing into it gradually. We’ve put together a few suggestions that you can start implementing today.
- Walking in the Sun: Sunlight helps your body produce a chemical called serotonin, which makes you feel happier and more active. Getting some morning sun can improve your sleep quality at night by helping your body produce another chemical called melatonin. If you find some free time, consider taking a walk around your neighborhood or near your workplace. The warm sun and fresh air can refresh you.
- Joining Support Groups: You’re not in this alone, and sometimes it takes a village. Support groups are a lifeline, offering a treasure trove of helpful tips and emotional support. CIDA hosts online support groups each month. If that sounds right for you, drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Journaling: Pouring your thoughts onto paper can be a game-changer. It’s not just a way to vent; it helps you keep tabs on your child’s growth and your own feelings. Remember, the small wins count too, so jot them down and give yourself a pat on the back.
- Meditation: If you can find some quiet time, why not close your eyes and focus on your breathing? Meditation is a simple but effective way to tune into your feelings and clear your head. If you’re new to it or find it challenging, there are plenty of guided videos on YouTube to help you out.
- Consulting with Professionals: If you find yourself at a point of significant emotional strain, it may be prudent to seek specialized guidance. For residents of New York City, NYC Well is readily accessible via phone at 1-888-692-9355 or through text message at 65173. The service offers interpreters proficient in over 200 languages, including Korean. Furthermore, local organizations such as the New York Korean Community Service Center, New York Family Counseling, and the Esther Ha Foundation provide invaluable support, often at little to no cost.