Newly Diagnosed?

Receiving a diagnosis of autism for your child can be an emotional and overwhelming experience. It’s natural to have questions, concerns, and uncertainties about what the future holds. However, it’s essential to remember that autism is just one aspect of your child, and with the right support and understanding, they can thrive and lead fulfilling lives. Here are seven important things that parents whose child has just been diagnosed with autism should know:

1. Autism Is a Spectrum

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not a one-size-fits-all condition. It's a spectrum, meaning that individuals with autism can have a wide range of strengths and challenges. Your child's abilities and needs are unique, and their journey will be too. Embrace their individuality and celebrate their strengths.

2. Early Intervention Is Key

Early intervention services, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), can make a significant difference in your child's development. The sooner you start intervention, the better the outcomes can be. Work closely with professionals to create a tailored intervention plan for your child.

3. Support and Advocacy are Essential

Building a support network is crucial. Connect with other parents of children with autism through support groups or online communities. Additionally, learn about your child's legal rights and seek out resources that can help you advocate for their needs, such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in schools.

4. Acceptance and Patience

Autism is a lifelong condition, and progress may be slow at times. It's essential to be patient with your child and yourself. Celebrate small victories, and remember that setbacks are a part of the journey. Unconditional love and acceptance can go a long way in helping your child flourish.

5. Embrace Their Interests

Many individuals with autism have unique interests and talents. Encourage and support your child's passions, as these can be a source of joy and motivation. These interests can also be used as a tool for learning and social interaction.

6. Self-Care Is Vital

Caring for a child with autism can be demanding, both physically and emotionally. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Seek respite care when needed, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and find activities that help you recharge. A rested and emotionally balanced parent can provide better support for their child.

In conclusion, receiving an autism diagnosis for your child can be a life-altering moment, but it’s important to remember that there is hope and help available. With early intervention, support, and a loving family, children with autism can thrive and achieve their full potential. Keep an open heart and mind, and cherish every moment of your unique journey together.

What are my next steps if my child has just been diagnosed
and was referred for ABA therapy?

First of all, take a deep breath. There might be lots of important information you are learning these days, but if you take it little by little, it will all soon make sense.

If your neurologist/psychiatrist has given your child an autism diagnosis, and has referred you to ABA therapy, or if your child is having behavior problems that you would like help with, we are here to help you!