How Can a Social Worker Help an Autistic Child?

Discovering that your child has autism can leave you feeling depressed, sad, and frozen with uncertainty and fear of the future. Autism is not a simple diagnosis. There are so many different aspects to an autistic spectrum disorder that parents can feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to look for help. There are many resources available to parents struggling with raising autistic children. One fantastic resource is a Social Worker.

Social Workers in a Hospital Setting

When your child is diagnosed with autism in a hospital setting a social worker can help you sort through your feelings of sadness and despair. Hospital social workers can help identify what your family needs will be both now and long term. They can put you in touch with different agencies and community resources available to you. They will help you fill out the applications and other paperwork to ensure that you quality for as much help as possible.

Social Workers in a School Setting

Sometimes autism isn’t identified until later when a child enters the public school system. A social worker in the school system will work with the proper school authorities to make this diagnosis for your child. Having the official diagnosis will open up the avenues of help available and put you in touch with the agencies that are equipped to give your child the tools he needs. In addition, a school social worker can work with your child on their behavioral and emotional problems, anger management and coping skills, and teach them the tools to help get along with their peers and other adults.

Social Workers in Child Welfare Agencies

Unfortunately, social workers in child welfare agencies have wrongfully been cast as the “bad guy” who takes children away from their parents. Many families are scared to reach out to child welfare agencies for help because they are fearful that they may lose control of the situation. The reality is that social workers are there to help the parents and the child in a variety of ways. Social workers in child welfare agencies can help an autistic child by helping to assess the needs of the family and putting them in touch with the proper agencies. In addition, they can help coordinate many other services such as housing assistance, food stamps, proper child care for autistic children, parenting classes, and much more.


Social workers are a valuable resource for families struggling with raising an autistic child. They can help with the initial diagnosis and help assess the individual needs that each family faces. Social workers will put you in touch with the proper agencies and help with the paperwork to guarantee that you and your child get all the services available to help navigate this difficult path. Social workers with the proper education can work directly with your child in a school setting to help with the special behavioral and social needs of autism.

Many times families struggling with the diagnosis of autism feel isolated from their friends and community. Social workers are experienced with working with families with autism and will help you to realized you are not alone. Social workers can help provide the resources to give your child the best possible chance at a happy and successful life.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs