Parenting while Autistic: Raising Kids When You’re Neurodivergent - Autism Awareness

Parenting while Autistic: Raising Kids When You’re Neurodivergent

Author: Wendela Whitcomb Marsh
Publishing Info: Paperback 234 pages / December 2023
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If anyone suggests that autistic people should not have children, in the mistaken belief that they would not be good parents because of their neurodiversity, they are wrong. Completely wrong. This is not to say that every autistic person should have a child, any more than every neuro-majority person should. People usually know for themselves whether or not they want to become parents, and if they don’t, they shouldn’t. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that every moment will be sunshine, rainbows, and cute, cuddly babies who sleep all night and never throw their oatmeal on the floor. Babies are just teenagers on hold, and teenagers are adults in waiting. At every step in the growing up process there will be hard times, and there will be joyful times. Parents have made this same journey since people began peopling, and the journey will continue after our children’s children have grandchildren of their own. We’re part of a huge spectrum of parenting through the ages. Isn’t it a wonder and a privilege to be a link in this chain?

Having a different brain as autists, ADHDers, and AuDHDers do, does not mean that you shouldn’t be part of this link, if your heart leads you to parenting. You’ll be amazing! You and I both know, though, that being neurodivergent in a neuro-majority world is not easy. Parenting isn’t easy, either, but you can do difficult things. You’ve been doing them all along, haven’t you? Parenting is just one more challenge you can manage, and it’s worth it. This book is here to help you navigate the unique aspects of parenting while autistic. Throughout the book you’ll find side trips to focus on various aspects of parenting while autistic. Here’s a description of each one.

Sensory Smarts
In this section we’ll discuss some of the sensory issues related to different stages of the parenting journey. You’ll find strategies for coping with heightened sensory reactions.

Make Family Meetings Fun
Your family’s need for Family Meetings, and what you will focus on in these meetings, will change as your children grow. Keep up with their needs, and yours, while making it fun for everyone.

Weekends That Work
You deserve a break at the end of a busy week, and so do your kids. How can you create the kind of weekend that works for all of you? You’ll find tips in this section.

Fictional Families
Throughout the book the topics and challenges at your child’s developmental stages will be illustrated by fictional families who, like you, are parenting while autistic. Follow them on their journeys, and see what you may have in common with them.

Parent To Parent
It’s important to listen to the authentic voices of actually autistic parents. Here you will find words of wisdom from neurodivergent moms and dads who have walked the ND parenting path before you, and who want you to succeed, too.

You’ve got this. Let’s go.