### Embracing ‘Low-Demand Parenting’: A Therapist Mom Allows Homeschooled Child Autonomy and Screen Time

A mother and therapist named Gretchen Winterkorn has acknowledged a shift in her parenting approach towards her neurodivergent son after realizing the need for a different strategy. Winterkorn, in a TikTok video, disclosed her adoption of a parenting method she terms “low-demand parenting” for her homeschooled child.

Formerly, the family adhered to a “relatively Waldorf” style, emphasizing limited screen time and shared meals. However, recognizing that this approach was ineffective for her son, Winterkorn delved into understanding his autism, specifically pathological demand avoidance (PDA), a behavior pattern common in individuals with autism characterized by extreme avoidance of perceived demands.

Transitioning to low-demand parenting, Winterkorn allowed her son greater autonomy, such as unrestricted screen time and the freedom to set his own bedtime and meal choices. Despite the initial discomfort of deviating from their previous parenting style, Winterkorn observed significant improvements in her son’s behavior by relinquishing control and empowering him to self-regulate.

Winterkorn noted parallels between her current parenting approach and her childhood experiences at her father’s house, where she found solace in a low-demand environment. Drawing from her past, she recognized the positive impact of such an upbringing on her own well-being, instilling confidence in her unconventional parenting decisions.

Ultimately, Winterkorn’s journey highlights the importance of tailoring parenting techniques to suit the individual needs of the child, showcasing that unconventional methods, like low-demand parenting, can yield positive outcomes in a child’s development.