Coping with Autism

As autistic children develop into teenagers, there may be a change in behavior patterns. While some skills may be gained, these teens still lag behind in social and interpersonal skills. Signs of autism in adults are dependent on their ability to communicate and their IQ levels. Most autistic adults achieve partial independence but there are many who still require assistance in daily activities. Autism can therefore present unique challenges in adulthood, and your support is even more important. Families can get in touch with community centers and support groups for information on facilities and employment opportunities for individuals afflicted with autism. This helps further the goal of self sufficiency and at least partial independence for the affected individual. While many adults with autism can be extremely productive and function well in a mainstream working environment, they are likely to face communication and social problems. Continued support and encouragement from family members is therefore vital.

Dealing with autism is not an easy task for parents or caregivers. Having a child with autism entails educating oneself about the condition and taking a proactive approach towards finding the best doctors and therapists for the child’s care. Understanding the condition will make it easier to cope with autism. To this end, it is recommended that parents contact autism support groups and reach out for help. Living with autism also involves being informed about the child’s rights in terms of education and aid, as certain states have policies and laws that protect children with autism. Additionally, it is as important for parents and caregivers to look after themselves as well. It is completely normal to feel challenged emotionally, financially, and physically when looking after a child with special needs. Handling such long-term problems also puts extra pressure on families and relationships and many couples benefit from counseling and online support groups.

The role of support groups in any strategy for coping with autism cannot be understated. The sharing of experiences and knowledge helps create a better understanding of the condition and also of the implications for caregivers. Volunteers and health care experts, with government funding, lead most support groups. Parents, care givers and health professionals can come together to share information and experiences and also to provide emotional support and counsel.

Autism Society chapters are your best source of information and support. Most chapters are volunteer-led by parents, care providers and other professionals. The Autism Society has chapters in nearly every state reaching out to individuals with autism and their families with information, support, and encouragement. Support groups can be found online and also through your local hospitals and community centers. For more information and help on finding support centers in your area you can use the following resources:
  • The Autism Society of America
  • Community Resources for People with Autism
  • Autism Meetup Groups

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Children With Disabilities. Technical report: the pediatrician's role in the diagnosis and management of autistic spectrum disorder in children. Pediatrics. 2001;107(5) . Available at:
  2. Scott M. Myers, Chris Plauché Johnson the Council on Children With Disabilities Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Pediatrics 2007 120: 1162-1182.