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An Open Letter to Parents of Children with Autism

Dear Parents,

Raising any child today means so many battle fronts — with external risks, internal worries, and often a heavy side of guilt. And when a child is on the autism spectrum, unique challenges, myths and misunderstandings can make the load heavier. 

But we want to reassure you: You are a great parent. All of that love and concern means you’re doing the best you know for your child, even when it feels like a lonely, uphill battle. And that counts for the world. Please be encouraged, and know that we and others are rooting for you.

We want to encourage you with 5 truths, particularly for tough days: 

You are not alone.

We hear from so many families facing similar struggles trying to raise a child with autism. Seek out local support groups or connect with online communities where you can share experiences and learn from others who have walked in your shoes. This collective wisdom and connection can be so encouraging.

Your child’s neurodivergence is a unique gift.

Embrace your child’s individuality and focus on strengths. Celebrate every achievement, even the seemingly insignificant ones. Encourage your child’s passions and interests, which can be sources of immense joy, connection, and confidence. Do an online search — there are long lists of hugely impactful people who are neurodivergent and leaned into their passions.

Keep pursuing connection.

Even if your child doesn’t seem to notice or respond, spend quality time with your child. Be patient in your interactions, and tailor your communication style to suit your child’s needs. Remember that understanding is key to building a strong, trusting relationship.

Don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance.

Parents can’t be expected to know everything. A team of therapists, educators, and specialists can provide valuable insights and support for both you and your child. They can help you better understand your child’s unique needs and develop strategies to help your child flourish.

Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; it’s a necessity.

Parenting a neurodivergent child can be emotionally and physically demanding. Carve out time for self-care, pursue your own interests, and spend quality time with your partner or friends. Being well rested and emotionally balanced is a gift to your family.

Remember, your child’s love for you is unwavering, even if you can’t always see that. Your commitment and love are the most precious gifts you can offer and will have a lasting impact. Embrace the journey, learn from it, and grow together. 

Your role as a parent is exceptional. You are shaping your child into a resilient individual with unique ways of connecting with the world. Stay strong, stay connected, and never underestimate the power of love. 

With deepest empathy and support, 

Pariva Health

Prithvi Singh

Seasoned Technical Product Manager, focusing on product strategy, roadmap development, and data-driven decision-making. Hands-on experience in implementing and optimizing machine learning algorithms in various projects