Parent Support Group
'Children learn how to smile from their parents.' (Shinichi Suzuki)
When you have a special child you become a special parent.
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder. Pervasive is something that has the quality or tendency to dissipate, to penetrate everywhere. Autism does not extend only to the various areas of child development, but also to the autistic child’s family and everything that comes into contact with that family.
As the parent of an autistic child, you get to breathe autism, see autism, taste autism, you do everything you can to act as an autistic in order to understand your child better, you read about autism, you write about autism, you talk about autism, you do everything you can to hear about autism and after all this, you reproach yourself that you are not doing enough. Autism is the wall in front of which you remain powerless, the wall separating you from your own child, your own family and the world. Sometimes when you stand very close to a wall, you can no longer see its real dimensions or weaknesses, as you do not see your resources to overcome it.
Through the personal development program meant for the parents having autistic children that we propose to you, we want you to learn how to distance yourself from the wall so you can find resources and new strategies to resume fighting with it.
If you experienced the pain of the moment the diagnosis of autism in relation to your own child, you must have asked yourself at least one of the following questions:
- Who was wrong?
- Why is this happening to me?
- What scares you more – the fear or mercy of the others, the rejection or the indifference?
- The diagnosis may be wrong, my child is not autistic, (s)he will speak later … and yet, is it alright to wait without doing anything?
- How did the diagnosis affect your couple life, the relationship with your family, friends, neighbors or work colleagues?
- How many times have you wondered if what you do is enough for your child? Did you learn how to fight or wait for miracles to happen? When you learned the diagnosis you became the parent of an autistic child; do you still know how to be a parent for a child who is not autistic?
- What about a wife/husband, son/daughter, colleague, friend?
- Have you accepted that you have an autistic child?
- How did you do that?
- How do you respond to your child’s crises?
- How does it feel to be proud of your child’s special talents?
- What are your dreams?
Benefits of participating in the support group:
- Understanding family consequences of diagnosing the child with autism;
- Suggestions for restoring family balance;
- Building an overall picture of the features of the child with autism
- Knowing in detail the difficulties your child is facing;
- Developing effective communication skills in the relationship with the child, family, friends;
- Optimizing cooperation with therapists in order to increase the effectiveness of therapy;
- Developing the skills to make the right decisions;
- Effective management of time, emotions and financial resources;
- Sharing the experience of people going through the same difficulties.
In this section, we publish our beneficiaries’ life stories, as they are seen by those who help them, day by day, to overachieve themselves and learn new things: their therapists.
The first testimony comes from our colleague psychotherapist, Cornelia Iancu, who is here for C.M. aged 7 years.
“I have been working with C.M. since August 2015. Since then, his emotional and social skills have improved dramatically. Social skills, imagination and intellectual skills have seen a leap that is to be taken into consideration. Communication is more effective with the others and, very important in his case; he can express his own emotions, establishing much easier social relationships with the others. Adaptation to new situations and goals has also reduced his impulsivity and increased his concentration, attention and reaction time. His family supports him and takes into account his emotional needs. School is still a challenge and he is still making considerable efforts to comply with a system in which competition is encouraged, a system that cuts wings and forces him to align with the flock. He is the leading winner of many major competitions. He is perfectionist, ambitious, meticulous, determined and demanding on himself. He is beautiful and bright. He is different. He has all the attributes of a winner, and I want him to succeed in life! And he will succeed! The activities we have done together have been great, fascinating and have constantly increased his interest, motivation and impatience to return. There have been some challenges, which we have gone through together. For the summer green-eyed boy, my soul rejoices and is sad, alike. He enjoys the progress, his flight, and he is sad because he “loses” it. C.M, thank you for the nice journey that we had together. The story goes on and I am here for you. I embrace you and I wish you well. May life smile at you! ”