Tools You Can Use
Rush Autism Resource Directory
Rush's Autism Resource Directory is a frequently updated online guide to help you find services and support across northern Illinois. If you have any questions about navigating the directory, please call us at (312) 563-2272.
While every person with autism is different, there are certain common stages you can expect at every age. We've created downloadable roadmaps to offer some insight about what you can expect — and how to prepare for what’s next. Many caregivers find it helpful to download or print these roadmaps so that they're easy to consult:
Our email newsletter features updates from Rush, resources for people with autism, and opportunities to participate in research and events. Sign up to get the newsletter each month.
Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
Autism touches so many parts of life. As a caregiver, it can be difficult to balance your needs with all the demands on your time.
But it's important to take care of yourself. By finding the support and resources you need, you'll ultimately be doing the best thing for your family and yourself.
Here are some ways to do that:
Find — and ask for — support
- Join a support group for caregivers of people with autism. Our Autism Resource Directory can help you find one.
- Attend training seminars and classes that will help you face common challenges. Our Autism Resource Directory can help you find some.
- Educate your friends and family members about autism and the challenges you, your child or your family are facing.
- Ask for help. No one expects you to do this alone.
Get support for your family
- Attend family therapy to help address issues that are affecting your entire family. Rush's autism diagnosis and treatment services include family therapy for families of children with autism.
- Find a sibling support group to help your other children live — and thrive — with a sibling who has autism. Our Autism Resource Directory can help you find one.
- If you and your partner are caring together for a child with autism, consider couples therapy. It can help you work as a team to manage your child’s care, your family’s well-being and your relationship. Couples therapists at Rush specialize in working with parents of people with autism.
- If your partner has autism, consider couples therapy that focuses on promoting communication, empathy and intimacy. Rush has couples therapists who specialize in working with couples in which one or both partners have autism.
Treat yourself right
- Maintain an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits.
- Try activities proven to reduce stress, such as yoga, meditation and exercise.
- Seek out other experienced caregivers who can help give you a break now and then.
- Let yourself break down when you need to. There is no weakness in recognizing your stress and hardship.