What advice would you give to a caregiver if he/she has autism?
Well, I heard of caregivers of those with autism, but never ones who have it, including me.
I know how very hard and frustrating caregiving can be, but with me having autism it's even tougher on me. I can deal with most transitions even better than most people with that disorder, but being thrust in the role of caregiver is a completely different story.
Besides transitions, what other challenges do autistics being in the same situation as me - playing caregiver to their loved ones - face? What advice can you give to them to make it less stressful and maddening?
I can speak as a former caregiver for a person with autism. He was on the 'low functioning' end of the spectrum whereas you clearly are on the high end.
Not wanting to promote my hubs inappropriately, I would still refer you to "Autism Spectrum Disorder: Allow the Unexpected to Happen."
Though I am not one with autism, I tested high as a Highly Sensitive Person, and we could share some challenges. That hub is "Highly Sensitive People: the gifts and challenges of this inherited trait."
My wife and I started caregiving together ten years ago, and wrote another experience into a hub which you might relate to. It is "What Does it Really Mean to Be of Service? - A True Story."
They are all 'under the blue feather.' That is, just click it for our profile and the hubs. If I think of any specific suggestions, I will certainly pass them on.
Best wishes on your journey and thank you for asking your question.
I am so sorry for your troubles. Although I have not had to face such a difficult situation, I can only answer your question in assuming as if I were challenged. My first suggestion is to read professional reports/articles on the disease and advice from Physicians should give you some ideas how to take care of your parents. This is where I would begin. Through research, you should gain the knowledge to cope. Also, take care of yourself. Remember that you have a life too. So take some time to enjoy your life.
As adults, we have gained much experience in the areas of life, love (feelings from the heart/soul) and living. When we understand ourselves well and how the 3 L's impact us and our daily lives, we can use this as a base from which we can balance and ascertain our responses to other responsibilities we may have in our lives.
As a carer, much of our energies can be given to assisting the one(s) we care for. We aim to help them face challenges and the joys as they travel through each day. But we must keep a 'reserve' of energy for ourselves, or 'burnout' can creep up on us. If we are stressed (emotional and physical strengths), we lessen our abilities to help others, let alone ourselves.
Keeping a practical and realistic 'handle' on what our daily life entails, as well as honoring ours and others (the ones we care for) creativity and needs, we can hope to gain more joy from life and lessen any negative impact any challenges may pose.
Being true to yourself and honest with our own capabilities (respecting self and other), and recognizing when one may need to ask for a little assistance from a trusted other, is an important aspect of a caring role.
No matter what one's own abilities and disposition is in life, when we are in a position of close interaction with (and responsible for) another, there will always be some times when communication, situations, feelings/emotions, energies, ideas, hopes, wants etc., can be confused or in a conflict of sorts.
When caring for another, finding mutual understanding, boundaries, common ground and nurturing a connectedness which builds trust in each other (to be there, a support), no matter what our differences (or similarities) may be (age, role etc.), we can only increase our opportunities of discovering that the caring role can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences in our unique lives.
Best wishes to you
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