It’s well known that exists a shortage of foster carers to meet the growing demand in certain states throughout the US and in places further afield like the United Kingdom. While no one simple reason that this shortage exists, the preconceptions around fostering seem a likely cause.
For children with ASD, fostering arrangements can sometimes get used as a way to offer respite care for the parents who might struggle to cope with the constant demands that go hand in hand with raising a child with Autism. In other cases, children might live in permanent foster care and the local authorities will need to look for foster carers with the skills and knowledge required to provide this enhanced level of care. Read just some of the reasons there needs to be more visibility around fostering children with ASD.
ASD can go undiagnosed in foster children
Anyone with experience raising a child with ASD will know about the steep learning curve. And these skills could prove invaluable to ensuring that no child struggling with ASD gets left behind in the fostering system. ASD can often go misdiagnosed when children get placed in foster care, particularly when the child gets removed from an abusive home. Behavior that any parent with experience of ASD will tell you is quite normal can be interpreted as trouble-making behavior from teachers or foster carers.
Fostering can disrupt routine
The most worrying part is that children in full-time foster care can be moved around frequently and might have three foster homes in one year. As routine and order are vital for ensuring children with ASD feel in control, these frequent upheavals can be very damaging. Only a parent with experience of caring for a child on the spectrum will fully be able to appreciate the importance of planning, routine and avoiding spontaneity. Moving to a new foster home overnight is the very definition on spontaneous.
How can experienced individuals help?
Fostering is as much a career choice as anything else, so it’s important to approach it as such. The process includes an interview, training, and pay for your work. Those with skills caring for children with ASD are always in demand, so if this is something you can see yourself doing in future, it’s worth getting in touch with a private fostering agency as they will be more likely to look for potential foster carers with unique parenting skill sets.
About the Author
Ryan Duffy is a freelance writer who is a recent university graduate in Media Studies. His passion for people and writing has encouraged him to pursue this career full-time. He enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and this is where most of his work has taken him.
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