ACT for Parents Raising Children With Autism

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has been used as a successful intervention tool for parents raising children with autism.

This is supported by primary research and published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, March 2018, (Fung et. al.)

Divorce rates amoung parents raising children with ASD is 91%.

  • Parenting children diagnosed with ASD can be a personally challenging long-term task. Parents of children with ASD have been found to have elevated stress compared to parents of neurotypical children.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Training, otherwise known as ACT, is an empirically based method and is more effective than Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) when working with parents raising children with ASD.In fact, ACT is proven effective in specifically treating workplace stress, generalized anxiety disorder, test anxiety, social anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, even psychosis.

I teach classes specifically for parents raising children with autism.

  •  I have two diagnosed sons of my own. This is a personal lived experience for me and I teach from where I have been. I have experienced great anxiety, grief, regret, and even anger. I have also fell deeply in love with the fact that I am a student of my two boys, and they offer me so much joy on a daily basis.

The aim of ACT is to promote psychological flexibility through six underlying and inter-related psychological processes (Hayes, et al, 2006):

  1. Defusion
  2. Acceptance
  3. Contact with the present moment
  4. Self-as-context
  5. Values
  6. Committed action

Acceptance and Commitment Training helps keep your personal compass on track.

  • Results from studies indicate that ACT workshops and individual session interventions help with promoting general psychological flexibility, decreasing cognitive fusion and increasing valued-living.  ACT includes mindfulness skill training. This is something you can use after attending ACT training.

An increase in self-care related activities and improved decision-making, based upon discovered core values, all occur after ACT training: An overall reduction of anxiety and depression is sustained.

The concept of mindfulness, an Eastern Zen Buddhist practice, now imported into Western psychology holds a promise as an effective approach to improve overall well-being, especially in parents raising children with ASD.

If you are interested in joining an Acceptance & Commitment Training Workshop email me today, or if you would like a copy of the original published paper that this article is based upon.

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