Common Challenges Faced By Autism Parents

April 12, 2022

Here are some of the most common challenges that some of my fellow special needs parents also face when taking care of their children.

It’s no secret that I love listening to other parents talking in the waiting area of Miguel’s school. Yeah, you can call me a snoop but, hey, it’s a great way to learn from other parents if you are like me who are too shy to talk or even approach other people.

Common Challenges Faced By Autism Parents

Common Challenges Faced By Autism Parents


Anyway, it was those moments of listening that I got to learn and discover a lot from my fellow parents. The knowledge that I gathered from those occasions also further reinforced the fact that autism can’t be bound by stereotypes because there is no single look or characteristic to define them. Autism doesn’t have a face and the traits that you may observe in one child may not manifest in another.

Just the same, there are also commonalities shared by autistic kids and these are some of the things that pose the greatest challenges to parents. Here are some of those:

Odd sleeping habits


I’ve only realized that unpredictable sleeping habits were common among autistic kids during the last two years. I thought that Miguel just has the habit of waking up when he already has had a few hours of sleep. 

When I began to research about it, I realized that odd sleeping patterns are common among kids within the autism spectrum. This was further validated by my fellow parents who also experience the same with their children.

They only eat limited types of food


Miguel can be quite choosy with the food that he ate, too, but he eats fish, pork, and chicken as long as they are crispy and crunchy.

Little boy on the beach
Our Kuya Miguel

However, I’ve heard other parents complain that their kids wouldn’t eat rice (Miguel is also not so fond of rice) or anything with sauce. Those children would just drink milk or consume processed food alone.

Also related to food and eating, I heard one mother say that her daughter, who’s already six years old, doesn't know how to sip from a straw yet.

Difficulty in focusing


I’ve always been vocal that one of my greatest challenges with Miguel is his difficulty in focusing during our activities. Well, it’s quite common among children who are in the autism spectrum. Some children are also easily distracted by noises or even small movements around them so they would also have to get used to those external stimuli.

Potty/toilet training


Miguel is still not yet toilet trained. For some unexplainable reason, he is afraid of toilets. It maybe the sound of the flush or the cold surface; whatever it is, he's just not comfortable sitting on the toilet. Anyway, I just realized that most of the kids in Miguel's school are also not yet potty trained based on the information "disclosed" by the parents during their conversations.

So these are four of the most common challenges faced by my fellow autism parents. I’m sure there are a lot more out there. Nevertheless, what autistic children need are acceptance, support, and understanding from their loved ones. Again, understanding begins at home.

Would you have anything more to add to this list? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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