I think this applies pretty well to other special needs and not just autism.
In my virtual travels, I have noticed a major theme and source of extra stress for parents of kids with special/different needs and that is that family and friends that were a part of their life before the special needs came into play (before the child/children were born, before the parents became concerned and started seeking answers… Anytime, really…) are either no longer present or seemingly unwilling (or actually unwilling) to accept their friend’s often complex responsibilities and family challenges and maybe their friend’s increased need for someone to listen, a friend who won’t judge them, just kindness … A FRIEND. They could really use a friend. If you still want to be a friend (and this goes for family- immediate and extended pretty equally) but just don’t know what to do, here’s a great place to start:
(I do have other links like this…I’ll update and post them when I can…)
Your Child Has Autism, and I Don’t Know What to Say: Seven Ways to Go the Extra Mile to Keep Your Friendship Thriving
Please share this resource! Us exhausted parents of special needs kids thank you!