Maryland parents might have difficulty explaining divorce to their children under normal circumstances. This conversation can become more challenging if they’re parents to children on the autism spectrum.
Special needs children have a more challenging time adapting to changes. Because of this, it’s essential to be patient and keep a few things in mind as you move through the divorce process with your special needs children.
Create a firm parenting plan
Parenting plans are always important, especially for parents of special needs children. Having a parenting plan before you talk to your special needs children about the divorce can help make you appear more confident, which can help them react to the news better.
It also might be a good idea to introduce changes gradually. Instead of immediately splitting custody, you may want to introduce the new arrangement to your children slowly. For example, consider doing maybe one or two weekends a month at one parent’s place, instead of every other weekend right off the bat.
You may have to be around your spouse a lot more after the divorce than traditional divorced parents. As you slowly introduce your child to the concept of divorce, it’s crucial for you and your ex to prioritize the children’s needs and be able to work together.
This is easier said than done, but it’s crucial for an easy as possible transition into divorced life for your child. You can work with a mediator or even family therapists to make this part of the process easier. A therapist might make it easier for your child to process their emotions around the divorce and adapt.
Remembering children have different needs
If you are parents to multiple children who are not all on the autism spectrum, you must also prioritize the needs of the other children. Even if all of your kids are on the spectrum, it’s important to recognize they may have different needs regarding divorce.
It can be hard adjusting to life after divorce for all families. While families with special needs children have different challenges than other families, it doesn’t mean that divorce isn’t the right option or that adjusting will be impossible. It’s important to stay patient as possible and get outside help when you need it.