Worrying about your child’s autism diagnosis is normal. As a parent, you feel a little pressured because you think that people around you are constantly asking you why your kid experienced a psychological problem. Understandably, you get frustrated with others judging and throwing negative comments about your child. Honestly, that is hurtful for a lot of reasons.
On the other hand, some can appear to be concerned, but their sympathy is not on point. Some would try and convince you that your kid is only having a rough time and that you should not get a little too anxious about their developmental delays. Some will also tell you that worrying too much is an exaggeration because it is as if they know that your child will soon be okay. But unfortunately, these words are unhelpful. It makes you feel like your child’s autism condition is not being taken seriously, which somehow makes you believe that your emotional and mental concerns are not valid.
Parenthood, Autism, And Mental Health
Dealing with an autistic child is genuinely challenging. There is too much fear of the future. It is where you think too much about the negative things that might happen to your child once you let him go or once you are gone. Well, that is precisely what most parents like you are going through. Because you care too much for your child’s overall wellbeing, it scares you to think about keeping your eyes away from him even for a second. Most of the time, you catastrophize every unfortunate situation your kid encounter. And that is something that you must avoid permanently to save your mental health.
This particular worry about your child’s future and how autism will affect him throughout his life is completely different from the common fears you have. It is not a thing that you can just shrug off whenever you want to or when people tell you to do so. It is the dreadfulness of your emotional and mental state because you knew it is your child’s future that is on the line. You feel the weight in your chest because you care deeply about the outcome of your decisions. You fear committing mistakes because you somehow knew that your child might suffer once you can no longer stay physically, emotionally, and mentally present.
It is okay to worry for your child’s sake. However, if that worry distracts you from doing the things you need to do, perhaps you might want to consider rearranging your thoughts. Because when that idea of worry becomes a mental condition, it will become impossible for you to care for the child anymore. The worse part, you become another source of the problem. You need to realize that fear and anxiety are two different things. Yes, both may work the same regardless of the root cause. Fear and anxiety trigger the same physiological response. It never plays out in the way you think about it.
A Little Worry About The Whole Situation
A little worry is acceptable when you know that you can manage it. When you can find better solutions to the problem and stay positive despite the unfortunate situations in your child’s life, you can say that your mental health is probably better than ever. Honestly, it just a matter of positive thinking. Your child might be different in some ways due to his autism, but every child is different, whether autistic or not. Thus, every child you meet, engaged with, talk to, or spend time with will all be different. There is no constant dynamic there because every human is born different. So the real predicament here is not about making everyone accept your autistic child, but rather educate them that despite your kid’s situation, he deserves all the love and care the world has to offer.
Always remember that the worst-case scenario is only a portion of what you play in your head. You may picture it as far more brutal from reality, but that is just it – a picture. It is always up to you how you handle the situation because, in the end, the mental and emotional state is all that will matter. It is okay to feel deeply terrified about the uncertainties of the future, especially for your autistic child’s sake. But you have to be mindful that there is always a solution to everything. It may not be the one you imagined it to be, but that is okay. As long as you understand your role in your child’s life, you can hang on to it. Worry if you must and fear uncertainties if you have to. But do not let that worry turn into a mental illness because your child needs you more than ever. Care for your mental health, and don’t let your child’s autism distract you from what you have to do.