10 Steps to Take If Your Child Is Diagnosed With Autism

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Autism doesn't have to be a diagnosis your family has to deal with alone. In fact, the resources out there -- both locally and globally -- can be an enormous help to not only educate you on special needs, but it's excellent for emotional support. The latest stats show that 1 out of 88 children are affected -- which essentially means we all need to learn more and empower ourselves for the sake of our children.

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Karen Simmons and Lee Grossman of Autism Today and also parents of children with special needs say we need to focus on solutions. Still, when parents learn their child has special needs, it can be scary. Simmons and Grossman advise you to get over it fast. Do not stray into a state of denial. Start addressing the problem and help your child. Read on to learn 10 more steps that will help both you and your child when faced with an autism diagnosis.

1. Start Local. Find the strongest local support and system you possibly can. Start local, and learn what is available in your areas and nearby. Reach out to nearby cities as needed.    

2. Qualify Your Doctor. Locate a medical doctor who specializes in autism and has experience treating autism. A referral from another parent or a reputable autism organization works best.    

3. Reach Out for Help. Discover and make use of specific government agencies and public services that support the cause, especially in the early intervention arena.    

4. Look Into Special Services. Check into related health services such as speech and language, recreational therapy, occupational therapy, physical and behavioral therapy, and so forth.    

5. Use the Internet. Go to reliable website sources to educate yourselves on programs, services, interventions, therapies, and supports.    

6. Take Frequent Breaks. Find and use qualified respite for yourselves as caregivers and use it. You will need it.    

7. Educate Your Family. Educate relatives, friends, neighbors, and your child’s siblings and peers about what autism is and what you and your family are going through. They will be able to accept him or her and understand the challenges more easily, which leads to acceptance.    

8. Get Involved. Attend conferences for educational information and also the fellowship aspects by meeting with other family members, individuals with autism, and other professionals in the field. You may find lifelong alliances there!    

9. Get Up to Speed. Stay current with the latest medical, bio-medical, behavioral, and education services so you can pick and choose what is right for your child and your family.     

10. Plan for the Future. Currently autism is a lifelong disorder and until something radically changes, the autism is not going to go away. With proper interventions, it improves over time, and with the best mindset from the parents, caregivers, and people that support the child, they can be guided toward a great outcome leading happy, fulfilling lives.    

For more information and resources, visit Autism Today.

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