Counseling for Parents
Equinox Counseling provides parent counseling for families with children with autism, special needs, or chronic health issues. We help you develop self-care routines, learn to manage anxiety, work through ongoing grief and guilt, and foster communication skills. This will enable you to advocate for your child and yourself. We use methods of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindful parenting practices to teach coping strategies and process feelings.
We know that counseling feels like “one more thing” to add on the never-ending pile of priorities. But if you don’t prioritize your needs, you will not have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your child the way you would like to.
There are specific and intense life strains that come with having a child with autism or other special needs. Often the diagnosis is traumatic and all-encompassing to every aspect of your life. It comes with all new parenting stress, which has been shown to far outweigh parenting a typical child or a child with other disabilities. Parents often experience anxiety, guilt, worry about the future, exhaustion, and increased strain on relationships. There is an increased risk of divorce, and the stress and grief can be overwhelming. This stress can make us sick. To stay healthy, learning to manage stress effectively is essential.
Contributors to Stress in Parenting a Child With Autism
- Need for constant supervision and assistance in living skills
- Lack of reliable trained respite care providers to care for your child in your absence
- Sensory issues to consider and plan for in daily life
- Trying to plan consistency and reliable schedules on weekends, vacations or downtimes
- A constant need to advocate for services from school, medical, or other service providers
- Need to understand special education, insurance, and other services available to your child
- Behavioral issues such as temper tantrums, self-abuse, obsessive, impulsive, destructive, or self-stimulating behaviors to manage at home and in public
Research Confirms Your Stress
In 2018 systematic review of studies regarding mental health interventions for parent caregivers for children with autism was done. The report identified three significant themes most important to improving the parent’s mental health. One is access to social support from parents in similar situations to their own. Two was receiving professional stress management and problem-solving through parent counseling. Three was receiving accurate information regarding autism spectrum disorders.
We can provide compassionate support from counselors who understand what parenting a child with autism is like.