Every parent wants their child to live a successful, fulfilling life with as few obstacles or hardships as possible. Any diagnosis can be devastating, and an autism spectrum disorder can certainly cause worry. However, with our three tips, you can cope with a diagnosis of autism in order to give your child the best care possible.
Give Yourself Time to Absorb the News
As said, any childhood diagnosis can be devastating to a parent. You have dreams for your child, and want them to have an easier life than you did. Maybe you’ve heard horror stories of bullying, and hoped that your little one would never experience such cruelties. An autism diagnosis can be hard to hear.
By giving yourself time to sit with the diagnosis, you’ll be better equipped in the long run. Too often in our society we don’t take the time to absorb what is happening in our lives. You may even find yourself grieving a bit, for the challenge-free life that you imagined for your child. There’s no shame in taking some time to let everything sink in.
Change the Way You Perceive Autism
Once you’ve given your child’s diagnosis some thought and taken time to read about the subject, you may find yourself wanting to immediately jump into action mode. While it’s important to seek out child development services to help your child flourish, it’s also important to reframe the way you think about autism.
While autism is classified as a developmental disability, an emerging school of thought presents people living with autistic spectrum disorders as neurodiverse or neurodivergent. This means that there is in fact much diversity in brain function and behavioral traits within people, and each of us has our own set of strengths regardless of our individual neurological patterns and behaviors.
This line of thinking doesn’t ignore that living with autism can be challenging, but it is empowering and, arguably, furthering research and treatment.
Find Support for You and Your Family
It’s perfectly okay and healthy to seek support during any challenging time. Early intervention services are the best support you can seek for your child after their diagnosis. Some early intervention services include:
Early Intervention Services through your public school system
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy
These services and treatments help give your child a head start toward working with their neurological and behavioral differences for the best life possible. You should also seek support for yourself.
You may want to join a support group for parents or find a one-on-one therapist. By finding support, you’re giving yourself a safe space to relate to other parents and express your feelings. You can find many support groups and therapists in your area.
Giving yourself time to absorb the news, reframing the way you see autism, and finding one-on-one or group support will help you cope with your child’s diagnosis in order to be the best version of yourself as a parent.