Learn About Autism with a Free Online Course from the Autism Society

Online Courses to Teach Parents about Autism

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Check out these free online courses from the Autism Society if you know of anyone with a child with autism. Photodisc/Getty Images

If you are a parent of a child who has been diagnosed with autism or other developmental disorder that affects learning, then you probably have quite a bit on your plate. Dealing effectively with autism requires special attention, research, and daily changes on the part of parent. But what happens when the friends and family in your life do not put in the same effort?

One way to mediate this is by encouraging friends to do some easy and fun learning on their own.

Let's talk about why this is important for everyone involved, and how there are wonderful resources to begin learning today.

Any parent of a child with autism knows how difficult it can be to give your child everything he or she needs. Being able to understand one another and communicate fully can be challenging at first. However, anyone who knows a child who has been diagnosed with autism will also tell you what an amazing gift it is to get to know some of the most carefree and cool kids you will ever meet.

The Importance of Autism Education for Family and Friends

Unfortunately, even though you will be doing a huge amount of research and preparation on your own (learn about why parents need to become experts on autism), you can't help the people in your life who are ignorant about the ins and outs of autism. It can be overwhelming to make the necessary changes in your own life and completely re-center daily tasks around a unique set of needs if your friends and family are unaware of what makes your child different and special.

Caring for a child with autism can sometimes also mean teaching the people in that child's life more about who they are and how to interact with them. Major misunderstandings can occur on the part of family and friends, simply because they just haven't taken the time to learn more about autism or they just need a little more hands-on experience.

Understanding Autism is Critical to Avoid Harming a Child with Autism

Kids with autism are often extremely brilliant, but sometimes they have trouble with things that most of us take for granted. They can go into sensory overload or have sudden meltdowns when things change quickly. In short, if you don't know how kids with autism experience the world, you can really run the risk of making them feel uncomfortable or even scared or threatened.

If you have a child with autism or know someone who does, it may be a good idea to spread the word about the different forms of education available about autism. The Autism Society has recently begun offering knowledge courses on autism, which are excellent ways for anyone, no matter their level of experience with autism may be, to expand their knowledge. All these courses are offered online, and they are completely free.

Learning about Autism Helps You Support the Parents of Kids with Autism

Taking a bit of time to learn more about children with autism can not only help the child you are interacting with feel more comfortable and natural, but also help the parents of that child manage social interaction with you more easily.

Free Online Autism Course from the Autism Society

There is a free course offered by the Autism Society that can help any adult or older child get up to speed on the special children who live with autism. Even better, the course is short, simple, and even fun.

  • Autism 101 Course 1 - This first course covers and introduction to autism spectrum and the different options for treatment in about 30 minutes. The course explains the symptoms experienced by those with autism and discusses how autistic children grow up and transition into adulthood.

If your child has an autism spectrum disorder, consider forwarding these courses to loved ones who could benefit themselves and better help and honor your child through a better understanding of children with autism.

If you have friends and family with a child with autism, this would be a great way to gain a greater understanding of what it feels like to experience life with a child with autism, and doing so can help you better honor this special child and bring comfort to her parents.

Autism and Parenting

It's not just people who aren't familiar with autism who may not understand your thoughts with regard to your child. There are actually 7 types of autism parents, and not appreciating how parents can differ can lead to conflict. Check out some of these reasons why parents of children with autism don't always agree.

Yet, despite these differences among parents who likewise have children with autism, and despite the differences in knowledge between parents who have a child with autism and those who don't, social support is critically important for parents with a child with autism. And of course, since how parents are feeling affects their children's lives, it is just as important for the child with autism.

The online class above may help you get up to speed on what parents would like you to know if you are unfamiliar with autism. Reading about the different styles of parenting may help you appreciate the differences you may have with other parents. Finally, take a moment to read an article which is probably one of the most important things you can do for your child with autism: How to Keep Your Marriage Strong when You Have an Autistic Child. Keep in mind that even if you and your child's other parent aren't married, these tips can help you present a united force in helping your child.

Sources:

Bonis, S., and K. Sawin. Risks and Protective Factors for Stress Self-Management in Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Integrated Review of the Literature. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 2016. 31(6):567-579.

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