6 Things to Consider When Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism.
As a parent whose child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, you may feel like your world has just turned upside down. You may feel confused, afraid, and unsure about what to do next.
Today, 1 in 30 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and millions of children under 18 are living their lives with an autism diagnosis. There are many resources available to help you better understand autism and sift through the different options for therapy.
In this article, we share the 6 things you can do now to give your young child the best opportunity to thrive.
- Start with the right perspective. Know there is hope. A diagnosis of autism does not change who your child is or what he or she can accomplish in life. It just means your child will take a different path, and you will need to adjust your parenting to help them get there.
- Do your research. Doing your research can also help you focus on what’s next. There are two kinds of research: understanding your child and understanding your therapy options.
- Become your child’s advocate. You may find yourself filling multiple roles for your child, including care coordinator, therapist, parent, teacher and more. But the most important role after being a loving parent will be that of your child’s advocate.
- Choose your path. There are different ways to handle your child’s care, and the best course may depend on where your child falls on the autism spectrum. Either way, professional therapy is essential.
- Take advantage of early intervention therapy. You may have heard the term “early intervention,“ which applies to therapy support for children from 18 months to 6 years old. Research has shown that early intervention optimizes a child’s overall development. Children who receive autism-specific care and support at an early and key developmental stage are much more likely to gain essential social skills and more favorable outcomes.
- Find the right therapy provider for your child and your family. Once you’ve decided to get therapy for your child, you need to select a provider. In addition to a list from your insurance company, you can ask your pediatrician or the professional who diagnosed your child for referrals. You can also get recommendations from parent support groups and community resources.