Family support networks

     by Inovar Autismo

Parents of autistic children, young people and adults often have emotional, psychological, financial and professional support needs. Regardless of the type of need, it is important to note that these families often consider themselves to have little social support.

Families are often unaware of the resources available to meet their needs, but a good adaptation of the family to stressful events lies in their ability to share concerns, recognize their needs and use the available resources. These families need a social support system to help them in the coping process and enable them to adapt to the challenges of caring for an autistic child/young person.

Contact with other families with children in a similar situation can help in the acquisition of strategies to deal with the child/young person, in feelings of frustration and support as well as in the ability to mobilize and make known elements of the formal support network (professionals, services…).

Some clinics, associations and hospital services have groups of parents aimed at sharing experiences, coordinated by a professional specialized in the area. This professional should enable parents to make decisions so that, when a difficulty arises, the professional articulates with the family in a logic of problem solving, with the aim of becoming increasingly effective and autonomous.

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