When your child is diagnosed with autism it can be a life-changing moment. For most people, autism is a condition that we have heard of but either don’t know anything about or of which we have some misconceptions. Whilst a medical diagnosis can come as something of a relief because it explains your child’s actions or issues, it can easily leave you feeling very worried as you try to envisage how it will affect your child’s life. Moving on from an autism diagnosis can be daunting but it is so important to remember that you are not alone.
Read on to find out what you can do next to come to terms with your kid’s diagnosis.
First Off, Give Yourself Some Time
When your child is diagnosed with autism, it usually doesn’t come as a complete surprise, but it still leaves lots of parents in shock. It is so important not to let an autism diagnosis intimidate you, give yourself some time, and take a deep breath. An autism diagnosis does not change the fact that your child is still the same special little person and now that you know your child is on the spectrum, you can finally take the steps necessary to give them the support that they need.
It is not uncommon for parents in your situation to blame themselves or each other. The factors behind autism are still unclear but what is certain is that your child needs your support now and your only focus and concern should be on helping your child to have the best life possible. Instead of worrying about what you can’t control, start to think about what you can do next because, with the right support, you will be able to maximize your child’s potential.
Getting a Handle on it: Educate Yourself and Your Family
The scariest things in life are the things that we don’t understand and when an autism diagnosis is confirmed it can be extremely frightening. It is important that you and your family take the steps to learn as much as you can about autism so that you are able to offer the support and understanding that are so vital to show your love and understanding to an autistic family member.
There are many books, articles, videos, and other resources online to help inform you fully about autism spectrum disorder. It is important to school yourself in everything to do with autism and this website can help a lot to teach you everything you need to know. Support groups can also be a great source of information that can help you to deal with the everyday challenges of the disorder and stop you from feeling isolated. The more you learn, the more empowered you and your family will be to support your child.
It is totally normal for your other children to feel neglected when the majority of your focus naturally falls on your child who has just been diagnosed. It is so important to have open and honest communication with your other children so that you all learn and grow together as a family. There are some great videos online that help explain autism to children and this can really help your kids to understand the situation so that they don’t feel left out. Involve all your children in all of the autistic exercises that your child has to do for their treatment.
Take an Active Part in Your Child’s Treatment
Autistic children really benefit from the support of their families in every aspect of their treatment and therapy. Let your child know that you and your family will always be there for them by being responsive and sensitive to their special signals. There is no better support than you can give to your child than accompanying them through the different stages of their treatment.
Constant communication is so important and being ever-present while your child is going through their different therapies and treatments. One of the biggest symptoms of autism is that it impedes a child’s ability to communicate so think about different ways to communicate with your child. There are many effective options like chat boxes, diaries, or email systems which can help make communication easier for your child.
Your child’s autism diagnosis can be hard on you in many ways but the most important thing is to stay calm and educate yourself on autism so that you know exactly what the situation is. It can be a scary and isolating experience for any child and so by educating yourself and reaching out to any of a number of support groups that are available to you, you will and your child will be best prepared for the best response to a diagnosis.