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My Child Has Just Received An Autism Diagnosis – What To Do Now?

My Child has Just Received an Autism Diagnosis – What to do Now?

First and foremost “Respect the differences”

It may be overwhelming to discover that your child has autism, but there is plenty of support and information available to help you and your child through this journey.

What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, interactions with others, and perception of their surroundings. Autism affects everyone differently, which is why it is called a “spectrum disorder.” There are many myths and misunderstandings about autism, and due to many Autistic people facing challenges, with the right support, they can and do achieve a high quality of life. There is also a widespread misconception that autism spectrum disorder is linear. Autistic people, in fact, can exhibit a wide range of characteristics in their strengths, communications, social interactions, leisure, and play – which can resemble a constellation.
Autism can also be associated with physical, developmental, or mental health issues such as intellectual disability, epilepsy, gastrointestinal problems, ADHD, dyspraxia, anxiety, or depression. However, many of the difficulties associated with autism arise when individuals lack the respect, understanding, and support necessary to feel at ease in today’s society.

What does it mean for me as a parent/caretaker?

“Autism is part of my child. It’s not everything he is. My child is so much more than a diagnosis.” – S.L. Coelho
It is necessary to keep in mind that, regardless of the diagnosis, your child is still the same person. An autism diagnosis may simply indicate that your child requires additional support or a different approach in certain areas of their life in order to achieve their goals.
It is also important to understand that no two Autistic people are alike, with each having their own personality, unique strengths, and way of thinking, many of which are becoming increasingly recognized as important to our society.

Parenting tips on dealing with autistic children

Be patient

It’s essential to be patient when dealing with a child with autism. Many things that come naturally to other children can be very difficult for children with autism. It’s important to remember that they are doing the best they can.

Be consistent

It’s important to be consistent when you’re dealing with a child with autism. Many things that other children learn easily can be very difficult for children with autism. This is why consistency is key when working with children with autism. If they know what to expect and what is expected of them, they are more likely to succeed.

Use positive reinforcement

One of the most important things you can do when working with a child with autism is to use positive reinforcement. This means rewarding them when they do something right. This can be anything from verbal praise to a small treat. The key is to make sure the reward is immediate and consistent.

Seek professional help

If you have difficulty working with a child with autism, it is essential to seek professional help. Many resources are available to parents and caregivers, and a professional can help you find the best way to work with your child.
This is just a tiny sample of the strategies which can be used when working with children with Autism.

Finding the right support

“Autism acceptance is an end to autism awareness campaign”
The type of assistance required is determined by the individual’s age, goals, and objectives. There are numerous options available, but it is critical to ensure that the support your child receives is evidence-based and meets their specific needs. What is appropriate and beneficial for one child may not be appropriate or beneficial for another. Supports are available to assist your child in meeting their specific needs or goals, and they should be tailored to your child’s specific needs or goals. For example, your child may require assistance with communication or sensory processing. These requirements can be discussed with your pediatrician, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or other health professional.
Parents and caregivers may also benefit from training in autism-specific approaches to better support and understand their children. The National Autism Information Line – Autism Connect is another good resource for people trying to figure out what kind of support they might need.

Disclosing a diagnosis

It is up to you and your child to inform others that your child has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. However, it can be beneficial to inform your child’s school or workplace about any areas where additional assistance may be required.

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