For a parent, an autism diagnosis can be startling. With diagnoses increasing, more parents confront a reality they were not expecting; raising a child that may struggle with social interaction, learning and repetitive behavior. We have put together a comprehensive list of steps to take after an autism diagnosis that will ease the shock and help you support your child’s development.
3 Steps for understanding and supporting an autistic child
Autism is a blanket diagnosis
No two children with autism are the same. Autism falls on a spectrum of disorders that affect learning and social behavior. Your child’s diagnosis does not mean they are no longer a person in need of help with their growth and development like any other child. The CDC notes, “It is important to note that some people without ASD might also have some of these symptoms. But for people with ASD, these characteristics can make life very challenging.” Paying close attention to your child throughout the process of learning what these individual needs, symptoms and behaviors are is an essential step in supporting an autism diagnosis.
Find reputable sources
As we mentioned, autism diagnoses have increased over the last decade. As with any emerging type of diagnosis, misinformation can spread rapidly. It is important to understand where your information comes from and how acting on it can affect your child. The best resource will be your child’s primary care doctor. They will have the most personal understanding of your child and their individual needs and can always be an excellent source to rely on when you inevitably have questions. A good online source is Autism Speaks’ autism help and information forum on their website. This site offers a slew of helpful articles, FAQs and an option to contact them for personalized care.
Build on your child’s skills
Autistic children will be challenged by different things. As we mentioned, determining your child’s behaviors is the first important step in supporting their autism diagnosis. However, it is essential that once you have identified your child’s individual needs and have put together a system of reputable and actionable information, you build on the skills your child has and learn to be patient with the skills they lack. Autistic children can have hyper-focused memory, mathematics, visuospatial skills, or other talents. Paying close attention to things your child is interested in and capitalizing on their abilities while surrounding them with a support system can be the best way to accelerate an autistic child’s development.
Supporting a child with autism is demanding but rewarding. At Maxim, we offer autism care to cater to both you and your child’s complex needs. A team of behavioral technicians will support your child’s development and assist with:
- Adaptive skills and independence
- Language skills, play and socialization
- Minimizing challenging or risky behavior
- Empowering your child to be the best they can be
Please contact your local office to learn more about Maxim’s Autism and ABA therapy services.