What do you do when you find out your child has is on the Spectrum. What do you do next as a parent. and tips on how to manage a life changing diagnosis.
WHAT IS AUTISM SPECTRUM?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. It’s a complex condition, and no two people with ASD are exactly alike. If you have a child with ASD, you may be wondering what to expect.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of conditions that affect how people see the world and how they behave in it. They also affect how people learn and interact with others. ASD is a neurological disorder that affects about 1 in 68 children. As many as 40 percent of children with ASD also have other conditions, such as intellectual disability or gastrointestinal issues. Individuals with autism may have difficulties understanding or expressing emotions in conventional ways. They may avoid eye contact or make repetitive hand motions. It may be difficult for them to grasp language as an abstract concept. These challenges result in unique challenges in every life area.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association that health care providers use to diagnose mental disorders, people with ASD often have: Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors Symptoms that affect their ability to function in school, work, and other areas of life Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people… – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd
AFTER THE DIAGNOSIS
As a mother with a child on the Spectrum. I can understand that an autism diagnosis can be life changing for parents. To be honest it can feel like it’s the end of the world. Let me tell you it’s not the end of the world. It’s the beginning of a beautiful journey.
This is especially true if you’re new to this diagnosis, or have never before come into contact with people living with Autism. I was lucky to have a co-worker that has been living a very successful and happy life. He had a new found a career, married to wonderful wife and loved Walt Disney World. He is doing just fine in this world and that can give any hope for the future. A parent’s first instinct will be to look up everything you can find about autism and so that’s what I did.
Some of my worries were how is this going to affect my child as he grows and if other kids will ever accept him as a friend.If your feeling this way it’s completely normal the more you educate yourself all these feelings will subside.
My son is in the second grade a special day class and he has lots of friends, goes to birthdays, has playdates outside of school and has a best friend at school. He is happy at school and loves to play with his friends and learn.
Another thing I worry about for the future is how he will support himself financially or emotionally as an adult.
Just Know You’re Not Alone
Wherever you are in this process, know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel, because the future of your child and mine has endless possibilities.
I hope that by sharing my own story, I’ll be able to assist other mothers on this journey and let them know that they’re not alone. I’m my son’s advocate in this world and one of my missions in life is to raise Autism Awareness for future generations to help bring more resources and bring a stoop to bullying.
Emerging research has uncovered a correlation between the use of Tylenol during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental disorders.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP RAISE AUTISM SPECTRUM AWARENESS
- Light It Up BLUE.
- Raise Awareness With What You Wear.
- Check Out the Work of Famous People with Autism.
- Find Sensory Toys and Tools that Help.
- Support Autism-Friendly Businesses and Employers.
- Spread Awareness in Your Community.
- Spread Kindness.
- Read, Watch, or Listen to Something Created By a Person With Autism.
I’ll be providing links throughout this post that point to resources or education you may require to manage your child’s new diagnosis.
Throughout the years, I had to seek out these resources for myself, and I wish someone had put them into one post. Therefor, I will advocate for you.
Here Are Some Ways You Can Help Yourself and Your Child.
The first thing I would suggest is this link. It’s priceless and free! This course covers 40 lessons and covers everything from behaviour therapy to child psychology to help you and your child. It’s free, certified and will teach you how to properly manage your child’s condition. I strongly recommend that you take this course. It will help your understand your child’s condition and how to manage it in a healthy way.
Talk To Your Child’s Doctor
Your first step should be to talk to your child’s physician. If you don’t feel comfortable, keep seeking a doctor that suits you and your child’s needs. Your child’s doctor will become one of your greatest advocates for your child and it is crucial to work with one that you trust and feel comfortable speaking to about anything on a regular basis. They will be able to inform you of what your child could be experiencing and give you some tools for helping them with those challenges.
Not all doctors will be well-informed about autism, however, so it’s important to ask questions and explain how your child is responding to their environment.This is especially important if your child is non-verbal.
Seek outside support
Seek outside help at this stage of your journey, just as I have for the last 4 years. I was fortunate to have Alta Regionals phone number and their continuous support. You will be supported all the way until adulthood, and they will help you with anything they can, considering you unique situation and thanks to many supporters, it’s all free!
ALTA REGIONAL CENTER (CALIFORNIA)
THE COLOR OF AUTISM FOUNDATION
THE CDC PROVIDES SEVERAL LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR THOSE SEEKING SUPPORT
Find A Therapist to talk to
After talking to your child’s doctor, it’s now time to seek out a therapist that is familiar with autism and can give you advice on how to best care for your child and help them with challenges they are facing. There are many resources and services that exist to help parents and children on the spectrum connect with others who can offer advice and support.
These groups can help you learn the ways to communicate with your child, accept and celebrate their differences, and help them find their place in the world.
Establish a routine and sensory activities
It is important for your child to have a routine and schedule in their life. This will help them feel more comfortable with their surroundings, and help them feel secure. You can also try sensory activities to help your child feel more relaxed and comfortable. You can find an endless list of sensory activities to try with children on the autism spectrum.
Establishing a routine is a very crucial part of having a happy and healthy life with your child.
You can find several ideas of sensory activities on Pinterest and Google.
Create social opportunities for your child
As your child gets older, they may want to start making friends. There are tons of social opportunities out there for people on the autism spectrum. You can join your local Autism Group or find local groups can’t find one CREATE ONE yourself! to find out about social events and activities in your area.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children in many different ways. There is no cure for autism, but there are many ways that you can help your child live a happy and fulfilling life. You can help your child with autism by talking to their doctor, finding a therapist to talk to, asking for an accommodation for school, establishing a routine, and creating social opportunities for your child.
COMMON DEFINITIONS AND RESOURCES FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM
Some of the most common terms and definitions used when talking about Autism Spectrum in our children:
ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder is a medical condition that affects how people behave, think, and feel. ASD is characterized by a persistent alteration in brain development resulting in a range of dysfunctional behaviours and below average intellect.
HFA: High Functioning Autism is a form of ASD that impairs social interaction, communication skills and interests. People with HFA have above average intellectual ability.
LDI: Low Functioning Autism is relatively less severe. It corresponds to mild autism, Asperger syndrome, or classic autism. It primarily affects social interaction and social skills.
There are many resources available for parents on the autism spectrum. Here are some resources that can help you:
Respite care: This service provides a break from the day-to-day caregiving responsibilities to families or loved ones who are providing care for an individual with ASD. The resources are provided by an organization or individual contracted with the family.
IHSS in home support care: IHSS usually refers to health and Human Services System, which provides in-home support services to people who need help with daily living activities, such as taking medicine, bathing, cooking and eating, getting dressed, or going to the bathroom. IHSS workers also can provide support and assistance you may need while you’re alone at home with your child. They can get your son ready for school or take him to play dates, doctor’s appointments, or other activities. They can also pick him up from those places and help him transition indoors and out of the car.”
In addition to normal child care, there are several resources and programs available for parents on the Autism spectrum.
Recreation Opportunities: Promote social skills and develop independence in a safe environment. One-to-one Therapy: Provides one-on-one attention and personalized program tailored to the needs of a child on the Autism Spectrum. These programs include occupational therapy, speech therapy, auditory integration training, and many other types of therapy which assist the child and their caregivers in improving the quality of life for both.
Adult Services: Respite care is a program that provides individuals with dedicated time and resources to take care of any personal matters. Additionally, individualized home support care enables development of caring routines, self-help skills and time management to enable individuals with autism spectrum disorder to become more independent in their daily lives. Education:
ABA Applied Behavior Analysis is a science-based treatment program which uses procedures that teach children new behaviors that replace those that are inappropriate or dangerous.
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