I first learned about autism in 2008 when I was working as a Research Assistant. I was attending an autism awareness event and the attendees were mostly families of children with the diagnosis.
I currently work as a Mental Health Counselor. In this role, I work with family members who may be struggling in their various roles as a result of their family member’s disorder.
For example, the mother of a child with autism may struggle with her role as a person, a parent, and as a caregiver to the individual with autism. In these cases, the whole family unit is impacted by the child’s autism and the quality of their daily lives is affected by this constant struggle of caring for their autistic loved one. This often turns the joy of parenthood into a daily war against autism. Being torn between nurturing oneself and enjoying parental duties and combating the very nature of autism is a struggle that only parents of children with autism can understand.
Therefore, a mental health clinician is charged with the responsibility of showing a certain degree of empathy and understanding to adequately meet the unique needs of their clientele. It is also the clinician’s duty to ensure that parents understand the importance of self-care and self-advocacy and facilitate the maintenance of these concepts as important tools in ensuring the parents’ own psychological growth and well-being.
Mental Health Counselor
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The views expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the NLM Family Foundation.