3 Tips For Parents With A Child Who Has Recently Been Diagnosed With Autism
Autism is not something that is uncommon or rare -- the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). But when it is your child, a diagnosis of autism can be very stressful and upsetting. Luckily, many autistic children can have a very happy and healthy life and also do well in school with parental support. If you have recently learned that your child has been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, use the following tips:
Educate Yourself About Autism
Autism is not a definite diagnosis -- children with autism exist on a spectrum, so each child will have his or her own strengths and challenges. On one end of the spectrum, a child may be non-verbal and need assistance with everyday care for many years. On the opposite end of the spectrum, other kids may have tendencies and behaviors that are different than their neuro-typical peers but can function well with minimal therapy and dedicated parents. The more you know about autism and the different types of treatments, the better you can help your own child. Doing research will ensure that you understand the spectrum and can act as an advocate for your child.
Build a Support Network
Almost all parents love their children unconditionally, and autistic children are no exception. But parenting an autistic child can be more difficult than parenting a neuro-typical child. Autistic children may have extreme food aversions, sensitivity to smells, sounds, and temperatures, and display extreme tantrums for reasons that parents cannot always easily understand. Autistic children may also have a difficult time communicating with caregivers and may not respond to requests from familiar voices, such as their mother or father.
If you're a parent of an autistic child, you are sure to love your son or daughter. But there may be times when you need a break, which is why having a strong support network can be beneficial for your whole family. After your child is diagnosed with autism, don't be afraid to rely on family members and close friends who want to help you and your family. Taking care of yourself and reducing stress can go a long way in helping you be the best parent possible to your autistic child.
In many cases, the earlier an autistic child begins therapy, the more effective it will be. Work with your child's pediatrician to set up occupational therapy and behavioral therapy that will assist your child in feeling happy and confident in his or her world. Health insurance often covers the cost of any type of treatment or therapy that an autistic child may need, but it is a good idea to contact your insurance company to verify coverage before your child begins any type of treatment or therapy with a new provider. For more information about enrolling your child in therapy, contact a clinic like ABC Pediatric Therapy.