Children who are on the autism spectrum thrive when they have consistency. Even seemingly small changes to that routine can throw them into a downward spiral that’s difficult for them to overcome. This presents a challenge when their parents decide that they aren’t able to continue their marriage. It’s imperative that both parents do what they can to make the transition easier for their child.
One of the best things that the parents can do in these cases is work closely with the professionals who help their child. This might include teachers, pediatricians, aides, and others who your child has an existing relationship with and trusts. Having everyone on your child’s team working toward the goal of helping them adjust to the new way of life can help the child tremendously.
Trying to keep as much of the child’s routine as possible might also help. When things are going to need to change, try to help them adapt to the changes by making them slowly. It may help to talk them through how and why they are occurring.
Both parents will likely have to remain flexible, especially in the early days of the separation.. There may be times when the child will need one parent and not the other. Trying to work through these times may help the child learn coping mechanisms that can benefit them throughout their life.
Ultimately, you’ll have to work with the other parent to come up with a parenting plan that puts the child’s best interest and welfare first. Get the plan in writing so that both parents remember what was agreed upon. The agreement can always be modified in the future if necessary. And as always, it is your family and your child(ren). You know him/her/them best, but if you have questions, seek information from your treating professionals, teachers, your attorney, and the like, so you can make an informed and intelligent decision that is best for you and your family.