Being a caregiver is not a walk in the park. You have to deal with kids getting sick, making sure they are all fed, watch them get hurt, and so much more. However, being a caregiver to a kiddo who is neurodiverse or has a disability adds even more stress to the situation. In this instance the caregiver is responsible for everything a neurotypical kid goes through, but so much more added stress.
Caregivers with children who are neurodivergent or have a disability experience a number of obstacles throughout their life. These individuals have poor self-rated mental health and a greater chance of experiencing depression than caregivers of neuotypical children. Caregivers of neurodiverse children do not engage in daily life activities at the same rate as other parents and there tends to be a strong strain on their marriage and other relationships which can commonly lead to divorce and isolation. Other health related obstacles faced by these caregivers include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and anxiety. Caregivers of neurodiverse children are often cut off, being lonely, an increase in stress, exhaustion, and experience financial strain.
How can we help these caregivers? What resources are out there? Caregivers of neurodiverse children can benefit from emotional support, respite care, and interventions. However, these resources do not come cheap. In the United States 8% of kids under 15-years-old have a disability and it cost an additional $60,000 per year compared to raising a neurotypical child.
If you are one one of these caregivers know you are not a lone! Do not be afraid to ask for help. Here are some amazing resources: