our everyday life

Raising Autistic Children as a Single Mother

by Dosser Handron, studioD

Single mothers face different challenges as sole caregivers to their children. An autistic child presents a set of unique challenges that can either weaken or strengthen a single mother’s spirit. It is important to have a strong support system in the home and at work. Some alone time also helps your relax and develop yourself as an individual, which is good for your children.


Guilt is a common feeling among single mothers of autistic children. They often blame themselves for the child’s condition, failed relationships or their current financial status. However, this guilty feeling demoralizes you and may affect your children negatively. Autism can happen to anyone and you cannot control people’s reaction to autism in your children. It is important that you accept the condition and work to ensure that all your children have a loving home environment. Associate yourself with people who appreciate and accept you and your children.


Single mothers often find it difficult to attend social events as they spend most of their time taking caring of and providing for their autistic children. Attending events such as family gatherings, parties and all-adult events is a challenge. However, it is important that your friends and family understand that your child is your priority. Take advantage of the Internet and catch up with friends and family through Skype. Additionally, invite your friends and family to your house to reduce the hustle associated with traveling with an autistic child.


Autistic children require regular medical and specialized care, which causes financial strain on a single-parent family. You may feel guilty, as you have to sacrifice time to provide for the entire family. Additionally, you may not be able to provide fully for the family as the autistic child uses up most of the money. Enlist the help of relatives and older children in the family to save on babysitting and day care costs. Alternatively, look for jobs that allow you to work from home so you are able to spend time with the kids and offer personalized care to the autistic child.

Support Groups

Parenting as a single mother is a tedious job. Raising autistic children puts extra pressure on a single mother and you may feel lonely and sad. Support groups give you an opportunity to share with other mothers and interact with people who understand the challenges you face. Support groups also give you information about new treatment methods, seminars for parents, discounted services that can benefit your children and many more. In support groups, mothers encourage each other, which helps them become stronger and better caregivers.

About the Author

Dosser Handron is a practicing psychologist and writer.She served as a columnist for the "Tides" and now contributes to various websites. Dosser holds a PhD in psychology from University of South Carolina.

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