Autism has a very wide spectrum making it difficult to paint an accurate picture of how it specifically affects a family. Yet for any family affected by autism, it is challenging and has times of great difficulty. Youth and children on the autism spectrum are reported to have struggles in two core areas: social communication and interaction, and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests. Often there are other difficulties along with these two, and it can vary from person to person.
The Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts (ARCCM) is a non-profit organization that offers help to families who are living with autism. They provide families with resources for services, technology, grants, tools, research, events, and community outreach. They also help advocate for people with autism. Having someone help advocate for you can help you get the services you need to live a better life. That can make a huge difference for an individual who has autism.
If you know someone who has autism, consider a car donation to the ARCCM in their behalf to help those who struggle with this difficult disorder.
How Can I Help Support a Family Affected by Autism:
1. Learn More
Do a little studying as to what autism is and how it affects the individual and family. Having that knowledge will not only help you understand autism, it will help the parents and family really feel supported.
2. Ask About Their Kids
Most parents love to talk about their children and share their accomplishments, especially parents of those with special needs children. Let them share share new milestones and successes and celebrate with them. It’s okay to ask how their kids are doing. Be there and just listen.
3. Be Inclusive
Teach your own children about autism and how they include kids who are different in activities they do. Kids with autism typically struggle with making friends and can be bullied by peers. You can support them by simply offering to include the individual with autism in your child’s group or one-on-one activity. They may learn that they have similar interests. Inclusion helps increase acceptance of people differences and helps children understand and be comfortable with diversity.
4. Help Advocate
Advocating in behalf of those who have autism would mean the world to a family affected by autism. Looks for ways to advocate for access to autism support and services on the state and federal level. It only takes a few minutes to speak up on an important issue in school or in the community that would help those with autism.