“I just learned my child has austim. Where do I start?”
Hi Is this normal,
I just received a diagnosis that my child has autism – where do I start, what do I do, and where do I go from here.
First, take a deep breath. The child for whom you just received a diagnosis, is the same child he or she was moments before. Now you just have an explanation for whatever delays or behaviors he is experiencing. And the good news is, there’s lots of help to be had! Go to Autismspeaks.org and request a “First 100 days Kit”.
It provides tons of information from how to go about getting your child services and what all of those services mean. You will want to do some research about local providers/school options and get your child set up with a program that best suits his needs.
Download Wolf+Friends app https://apple.co/2OfZW0q
Second only to getting your child’s therapies organized is finding some friends who “get it.” When my son was first diagnosed, I found my few friends who also had children with special needs to be my greatest asset. Not only did they provide the emotional support I needed, but they were a wealth of information about the best local speech and occupational therapists and how to navigate the public school system to get all of the services my son needed.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Parents often dive in so deep to make sure their child gets everything he needs when he is diagnosed, that they completely forget about their own needs. There is so much pressure and guilt and the feeling that everything needs to happen immediately (time is slipping away, their brains are only pliable for a few years, etc, etc), but you can only do so much on often little sleep and under tremendous stress. Steal 15 minutes away to take a walk or have a cup of coffee with a friend, get a manicure or whatever you can manage under the circumstances for even a tiny bit of self care. And don’t forget to take care of your marriage-parenting young kids is hard with typical kids, when you throw autism into the mix, there is so much more to argue about-money, which kinds of therapies to do, etc. Lean on family and friends to help with your kids so that you and your partner can have a little time alone to do something (anything) not autism-related.