When a family is given support or advice it’s nearly always tailored to NT’s parenting neurodiverse children or towards NT siblings of neurodiverse children. But what about the neurodiverse family?
The PDA Soapbox recently created a blog post asking for advice on how to parent multiple neurodiverse children, you can read the post here. It’s a brilliant idea, so many families are struggling with more than one children with extra needs, but with all the advice tailored towards only having one child many parents are left floundering wondering how to meet the needs of two or more often very different children. I can’t wait to read the finished post.
Another issue can to my mind though when reading that post, what about neruodiverse parents of NT or neurodiverse children? I attended a parenting course last year for ASD children, the course was clearly aimed towards NT parents (although when I pointed out that I too am autistic I was kindly included and accommodated for). A lot of advice I have found, especially online, is difficult for me personally to implement. Aside from the demand avoidance towards doing things like social stories, talking through events with my kids, explaining child’s difficulties to siblings (useless anyway since they are all autistic and too young to understand as well) and adapting my lifestyle to suit their needs (I have needs too), there is also the emotional and social difficulties of following much of the advice given. I can’t talk through events post meltdown with my kids because I can’t communicate things like that, I end up in tears and verbally unintelligible. Most of the advice given presumes we are able to communicate well and are mostly in control over our emotions, these are often the very traits our disabilities have. Even Dr Ross Green’s book covers how us parents need to overcome our deficits before we can successfully deal with our children’s, but what about if we simply cannot overcome those deficits because they are part of our neurodiversity.
So why is there no support aimed towards neurodiverse families? Probably for the same reason there is little support for neurodiverse people in the first place. There is some support available for neurodiverse children but for adults there is shockingly little. Most of the help and advice comes from families that have realised there isn’t much out there and so have taken to blogging about it themselves (hence The PDA Soapbox’s post above).
So to complement The PDA Soapbox’s post, I am asking if anyone has any advice for neurodiverse parents on how to manage their neurodiverse family and/or their own difficulties. Are you a neurodiverse parent? Do you have any advice for other neurodiverse parents dealing with their families? If you do then please let me know and I will put all advice into a blog post which I will share around in order to help more families like ours, because we need all the support we can get.
You can comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t forget to let The PDA Soapbox know if you have any advice on dealing with multiple neurodiverse children and I’ll share the post when it has been written.