It’s World Autism Month
“I love someone with autism.” You see the stickers, T-shirts and community support. But what you may not always see are the challenges (mixed with the joys!) of caring for someone with autism. Check in with your loved ones impacted by autism and remind them:
• You don’t have to do it alone. Family, friends, support groups and families in similar situations can all offer advice and a helping hand.
• Caregiver stress is real. And asking for help is okay. Anger, fear, depression, thoughts of guilt or shame, trouble sleeping and many other emotions are common.
• Take a timeout. Don’t neglect your personal needs and the things you enjoy. Set limits and reserve some time for yourself.
It’s okay to not have all the answers. Whether you’re a friend, relative or primary caregiver of someone with autism, reach out to your Employee Assistance Program to talk to a counselor or simply learn more about the resources that are available. The free EAP benefit can help you and your family members:
• Reduce stress with counseling, assessments, coaching, meditation practices and more.
• Find community support groups and other local resources.
• Get a financial consultation and resources to learn to manage medical expenses.
• Balance your responsibilities and a healthy lifestyle.
• Locate philanthropies and volunteer opportunities near you.
To learn more about how the EAP can help you, and how you can help others, call or go online.
Start by supporting World Autism Month by wearing blue on April 2 to increase global understanding and acceptance of people with autism. Learn more at www.autismspeaks.org.