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A Parents’ Journey

Parents generally felt that treatment should have continued beyond 6 months and that it had provided benefits to their child's well-being, self-esteem and quality of life, and this is what motivated many to remain engaged with treatment. This study may help inform future treatments for childhood obesity by providing insights into the aspects of treatment of greatest importance to parents.

Future treatments may need to consider providing greater support for lifestyle changes within the extended family, and may need to focus more on psycho-social outcomes. Children with ASD display difficulties in the areas of social as well as communicative behaviour.

Parents, caregivers and family members are the main communication partners of children with ASD. Living with a child with ASD can result in changes within a family system. To describe the challenges and experiences faced by families in their interaction with their child with ASD, caregiver coping strategies and the success of these strategies, and the generalisation and carryover of therapeutic strategies provided by a speech language pathologist SLP.

The teen years brought the added challenges of surging hormones and a fast growing physical stature, as well as confusion and frustration about all the social aspects of life. It was hard all the way around. He knew a few of his strengths and was acutely aware of his limitations, but he had some evolving ideas of what he wanted for himself, personally.

A Parent’s Journey Through Autism

College was one of those things, along with a place of his own, a girlfriend, and a dog. These are pretty fundamental wishes, what any of us would want for our own lives and for our kids. Sort of interesting that having a kid with communication challenges brought that insight home.

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Eventually, he enrolled in community college, where students come from all circumstances but fundamentally want the same thing: Choosing and registering for classes was a process to be navigated. Class schedules, new professors, and the mix of other students were all new territory. The commute was a huge challenge. But gradually he built up his tolerance for all those transitions. He now lives on his own, takes the public transit where he needs to go, gets his own groceries, mostly keeps up his apartment, puts his paychecks in the bank, does his laundry, and even changes the sheets and returns his recyclables.

He values his family and friends, stays connected to both, respects his commitments, is funny, sometimes painfully honest and always direct.

He has a growing perspective about life and shares the same concerns many of us do about the direction of our nation and the world. Like many other young adults, he is working to make his dreams a reality one day at a time.

We are relieved to have made it thus far, to be living in the present and looking forward to the future. To learn more about Deirdre, or to contact her directly, please see Our Team. The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds - The Clay Center is a practical, online educational resource dedicated to promoting and supporting the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of young people.

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