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  • Writer's pictureHannah's Hope

Friendship Goals.

Kim McCafferty, author and mother of two sons on the autism spectrum, wrote,"Why you should make friends with other parents of autistic kids" for AutsimSpeaks to provide some insight into what her journey was like when she started losing sight of herself, as many parents with these responsibilities do. Her journey started sixteen years ago when her first son was diagnosed and her to-do lists began overflowing with the vast amount of new "things" that were about to takeover her daily life. She claims that while all of her other personal needs were put on hold, the one thing she did not forget to prioritize was making friends with parents in a similar situation. Friends from all walks of life can be wonderful and supportive people and considered to be vital in your life, however, it is especially comforting to talk to someone who is also in your shoes and feels everything you are going through. She writes that having people that she can vent to and she knows understand her because of their similar experience has been a saving grace in her life. She provides tips in her article to how she made these connections and how you can do it too. If your child is in school, do your best to try and make friends with the other moms or dads within your child's classroom. You can do this by attending every school event that you possibly can or scheduling playdates or even just sending notes home to the other parents via their child's backpack. It may seem weird and invasive at first to try and approach people who you don't know, but it will more than likely be reciprocated and well accepted from other parents in your shoes. If your child's school has a special-education PTA program, it is especially important that you go to those meetings. Not only are the people there going to be understanding of your concerns and aware of your situation, but the topics at those meetings can be extremely relatable and you won't want to miss any of that information. The same can be said in regard to any autism-specific organizations in your area. If you are lucky enough to have this type of group in your relative area, go. Lastly, if you are able to, attend some local charity events or fundraisers to meet people, raise money for a good cause, and get a day or night out, as well. If you can do any or all of things to meet parents just like you and who will support you and understand you, take full advantage of the resources right in front of you. There are a lot of helpful tools out there and the information on the Internet for parents is great, but it doesn't quite compare from the real-life advice and experience that can only be given by friends who are walking the same journey that you are.

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