As our understanding grows, we adapt our methods of relating and communicating to better suit our autistic loved one’s understanding of the world. Because those individuals with autism are not receiving and integrating social information like the rest of us, their motivation and social frame of reference is very different. As a result, their behavior can appear offensive to the uninformed bystander. When we understand how autism affects the thinking and behavior of our loved ones, we can adjust our reactions to promote a better response from them. We can begin to take action to create fertile ground around those with ASD to enable them to achieve the most they can, and to help them become comfortable in their own skins.

All of this is predicated by staying healthy ourselves. We need to learn self-care strategies to take care of ourselves emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and physically, because the individual on the spectrum probably will not recognize or attend to our needs as we might have once hoped or expected. We must seek out the validation and support of others who understand the unique impact on our lives when we love someone on the autism spectrum. With this one skill, we can compensate for many of the difficulties we face when autism invades our world.

Finally, by accepting my circumstances and managing them well, I have found that I have been led down a path that I could never have predicted, and I have received many gifts that I would have never discovered if I had not made peace with autism in my life.