Money Makes The World Go Around
When it comes to money, autism is a double-edged sword. Good budgeting skills can help avoid taking on debts. However, those with autism may have trouble saving up for emergencies or handling the unexpected costs that need to be paid ASAP.
If you know somebody with autism and they rely on you financially (e.g. family, friend, etc.), it is essential to keep a close eye on their budget. In particular, you’ll need to be vigilant about debt.
If the person with autism doesn’t have a steady income source or hasn’t started working yet, there are ways to help them manage their finances and avoid debt – which will make life easier for both of you.
Autism can affect anyone in many different ways, so it is essential to know what your loved one wants and needs before suggesting solutions to their problems. This will be key for building trust between the two of you, leading to a good relationship – both financially and emotionally wise.
Some people may have sensory issues, which means they feel discomfort (e.g. pain, heat, cold, etc.) if their senses are disrupted or overloaded (e.g. loud noise)*. If your loved one has sensory issues and you’re suggesting ways to manage money better – do it in an area that’s quiet with little distractions around them.
This will be especially helpful for ideas about saving money or even ways to start making more.
At the same time, if your loved one has autism – do not take it personally if they don’t take your advice or appear uninterested in your suggestions. They might see you as just another person giving them advice – which can be annoying and frustrating. That’s why it’s crucial to build a good relationship with them before trying to advise that they might not want or need.
If your loved one is showing signs of financial abuse, you must show them what steps to take next and how they can get help (e.g. contact the police, financial aid, etc.). Financial abuse is a serious offence, and it can happen to anybody – not just people with special needs. You may think it’s impossible because they don’t have any money – but that isn’t the case. Often, family members or loved ones take advantage of them financially by manipulating them into thinking they’re “helping” them by doing things for them (e.g. paying their bills, buying their groceries, etc.).
If you know somebody with autism and they’re in a difficult financial situation – here are some solutions that can help:
Enable or disable online shopping.
This might be something they love to do, but it becomes an issue when combined with impulse shopping. It’s best to make sure you disable online shopping if they can’t afford what they’re buying (e.g. the groceries) and enable it again when their budget is working for them.
Be aware of any changes in spending habits.
This means being vigilant about your loved one’s daily, weekly or monthly routine – especially if it has changed. This can range from regularly going out to regularly staying indoors or periodically spending more time on the internet (e.g. social media, online shopping, etc.).
An activity timer.
Sometimes autism can make it seem like our loved one is fidgeting around too much, making them difficult to watch over when times are tough. In this case, an activity timer can help parents and carers keep track of how active our loved one is – which will allow them to either give more attention or do other things while they’re busy.
If your loved one has started working already, you must know their income sources (e.g. their salary, etc.) and how they can be paid (e.g. direct deposit, eft, check). This will help you manage the budget more effectively if they know what to expect when money comes in or goes out of your account.
As a parent or caretaker, you must know your loved one’s wants and needs before trying to help them. This will keep them motivated (e.g. when they’re doing better) and prevent the relationship from falling apart (e.g. when they don’t trust you).
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