Extra Work

“Parenting an autistic child is hard work!”
“Parenting an autistic child requires extra work!”

Let’s get something straight: being a parent is hard work. Period. Nobody can deny that. There are struggles, there are rewards. There are lots of “Holy s**t!” moments and plenty of heartmeltingly sublime moments. No matter what your child(ren)’s neurology, being a parent is hard.

Parenting an autistic child doesn’t require extra work… just different work. There is no “extra” when a child is involved. ANY good parent would go to any length required to make sure their child – autistic or not – gets what they need to thrive and succeed. If an autistic child needs accommodations, then a good parent will make sure they receive them. That’s not extra work, it’s what is required.

By saying it’s “extra” work, you’re adding to the negative stigma of autism by implying the autistic child is a burden, causing you to put forth “extra” effort on their behalf. This can cause serious depression and self-worth issues in autistic people. We hear everything you say and later, your kids will likely read everything you’ve written about them online. The internet is forever.

If you’re struggling with the work involved in being a parent, respect your child’s right to privacy and see a therapist to talk about it. Or reach out to a trusted friend and/or family member to discuss the situation. You need a team, every parent does. The saying is, “it takes a village to raise a child” and we’d all do better to adhere to that. Venting online isn’t involving the village, though… it’s just preserving your frustration for your child(ren) to see when they’re old enough to use Google.