How to Cope with Stress while Caring for a Child with Autism

The stress can come in many different forms. Mentally, you can fall to become depressed or have anxiety. Physically, you can be more prone to becoming sick with illnesses such as; cardiovascular, immune system, and gastrointestinal issues. Socially, most people are not educated about Autism which can cause shame to parents from the public eye. While your child's behavior is not meeting the public's expectation, the parents and caregivers stress on how they are going to prevent the meltdowns while being in public. The other stressors that can effect a parent and caregiver is financial well-being; while you work a regular 40 hour a week job. A parent with a child with autism most likely cannot due to the care their child needs, and if they are not getting assistance from the state they could always be worried about their financials. As a caregiver, you may have additional expenses like; medical bills, childcare, etc.

While a meltdown is not easy, the best path for both yourself and the child is to find the best path that works for you both to prevent one from happening. Again, not all meltdowns are preventable; but knowing your child's stressors will help eliminate issues for yourself as well.
There are different types of strategies you can do to cope with stress while caring for a child with Autism. Whether parents or a caregiver, a meltdown is not easy to handle while trying to calm your child down. Coming from a professional point of view, the easiest way to cope as a parent is trying to find down time for yourself. Making simple changes to some of these stressors also is a great way to start. Try a nightly routine allowing them to go to bed earlier, or doing some sort of exercise with them.

If you have a partner or professional make sure you all are on the same page so they can help with these simple changes. Know that there are other forms of help if you do not have a partner or professional help. I would recommend looking into Residential Options in your area, they are usually a volunteer opportunity with reliable and trained helpers who can help with giving you some free time to focus on the present and not the future.

Just remember, asking for help from your friends, family, coworkers, and professionals around you is not a crime. Caring for a child just alone takes a "village" to raise, but raising a child with Autism takes a community; there are people out there willing to help, you just have to ask!


  • My grandson has autism and I babysit him and take him to Logan center everyday and pick him up. I want to know how I can play with him. We go to the park a lot and swing and I let him run but what other ways can I connect with him

    Lonna Johnson
  • I am a grandma of a 7 year old how can Mr and my daughter get him to want go to school

    Carolyn curran
  • Just the message I was looking for today. Having this beautiful grandson with autism breaks my heart buy I want to help so much. At times he is a kid enjoying things. He has meltdowns. Hard for grandma to know what to do to help. Thanks for letting me chatter away

    Susan Brown
  • I’m a full time mommy to 2 wonderful children, my daughter, Ripley who is 4 and my son Finnegan who is 3.
    Finnegan is my nonverbal autistic son, whom os the best little guy out there.
    Finn unfortunately doesn’t know how to speak, eat with a utensil doesn’t know how to dress himself or any of the things a person would do on a regular.
    He has OT, speech therapy and going to start physically therapy. My boyfriend and I make to much money to get any type of help from the government which is wrong.
    My son will never be able to live on his own or even hold down a job.
    I work between 45-50 hours a week on top of taking care of my children and doing the regular duties of running errands and everything else.
    I’ve been on the verge of a breakdown and I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel guilty leaving to do something for myself and not spending enough time with the kids. But I need me time before I start to lose my mind
    I can’t relax knowing all the things I need to do I need help please!

  • Hi I’m a fulltime carer of my 4.5year old grandson who is autistic & my mum who has Parkinson’s and alzheimer’s, I’m in the UK & have never been told or offered respite from either, the only me time I get is me going to bed,, how do I find out about help regards to any form of respite

    J Mitchell

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