How to Support a Family Member with Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that can be hard to wrap your head around, especially if you don’t know someone with the condition firsthand. One of the most important things you can do to support someone with autism is to learn more about ASD, but it can feel like an overwhelming task without help. Start here by learning how to support someone with autism, and consider seeking out help from an ASD specialist in your area if you have more questions or concerns about your loved one’s health and happiness.

What Causes Autism

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect both children and adults. It can also be called autism spectrum disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s caused by abnormalities in the brain. These abnormalities lead to problems in communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. There are many causes for autism that are not yet fully understood but current research points to genetic mutations and environmental factors such as exposure to chemicals or infections in pregnancy.

Communication Tips

Communicating with someone who has autism can be more difficult than communicating with those without. For this reason, it is important for family members and friends of someone who has autism to maintain patience and avoid saying anything that may upset them. 

Try not to ask the person questions they have already answered or make statements they have already made clear they do not agree with. Instead, try using I statements instead of you statements so the person knows you are talking about yourself and not making accusations towards them.

Making Relationships Easier

The best way to support someone with autism is by communicating their needs and providing them with what they need in order for them to feel more comfortable. There are many ways that you can help, but the most important thing is knowing what your family member needs and trying your best to provide it.

Getting Help From Professionals

You may not have the skills or resources necessary to help your family member with autism in all areas of their life. It’s important that you do everything you can for them and understand what their needs are, but it’s also important that you get professional help when needed. For example, if your family member has difficulty communicating, it’s vital that they work with someone who specializes in autism spectrum disorders and is trained in this area.

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