Parenting an autistic child can seem overwhelming in the beginning, but it really gets better as the years go by and children with autism can open our eyes and our hearts to deeper contexts of love, courage, and humanity; all it takes is a lot of love and willpower.
An autism diagnosis for obvious reasons is a moment that stays with a parent. While some parents might have trouble understanding what’s happening, others may worry or have a sense of relief that there’s a name for what they’ve noticed in their child. Processing the diagnosis as a parent can come with a lot of unknowing but regardless of your emotions, there’s not a right or wrong way to feel.
Below are 6 areas to cover after receiving an autism diagnosis:
1. Seek Out Great Medical Care Options:
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids with autism often have other associated medical issues such as gastrointestinal issues, language delay or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Depending on the financial resources available to you and where you live, your medical choices might be limited or specialist-rich.
Getting good, consistent healthcare is invaluable and establishes important baselines, routines, and trust. How do you know which specialists or family doctors have the skills you and your child need? Ask those who have gone before you.
2. Find A Community That Helps
Autism can feel isolating, but there’s a way around that. There are a number of autism support groups like the Nigerian Autistic Society or Patrick Speech and Languages Centre and some unaffiliated groups of parents who have bonded in mutual support along the autism journey. Learn from others.
Share your story. Find communities of support at your place of worship, parks, restaurants, and stores that show understanding and respect you and your child. Also, the internet can provide useful resources on how to link up with other people who have similar needs as you.
3. Get Support
Autism is highly variable. The most research-backed treatment is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and it’s therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. It focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading and academics as well as adaptive learning skills.
While there may not be a lot of analysts that currently offer the ABA in the country at this time, it is a profession that has the potential to grow rapidly with increasingly greater access for families in need of ABA. In the meantime, the communities aforementioned can provide you with details of existing analysts in the country.
5. Find A Good Support System
Supporting your autistic child won’t be so overwhelming with you have a strong support system yourself. Be sure to ask and take help when you need it from your spouse, loving and qualified family, friends, or professional childcare providers who can stay with your child so you can have an established date night or occasional weekend away.
Such activities are important for all parents of young children but they can be especially critical for parents with children on the spectrum. Finding people who understand your child’s needs, routines and sensitivities is vital to your mental and physical health, the important thing to remember is having an autistic child is no less beautiful or rewarding.
6. Find A Good School
The school you pick for your autistic child should provide speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapies to your child. You can arrange for the services to be delivered to your child at home or at the school after you have inspected the environment and spoken with the school’s administration and are certain your child will be in good hands.
7. Have A Financial plan
A lot of children with autism will grow into healthy independent adults, but some may require varying levels of support. Nonetheless, putting plans in place for their long-term needs is vital.
It can be tough, but having important conversations with your partner and members of your family will help your little one in the long run. There are a number of saving plans available in banks and even modern apps that help you save long-term or towards a goal so that you can pay for qualified expenses.
The hard truth is that it can be tough and there will be challenges, but you can do it. There will also be more beauty in this journey than you can ever imagine. The main thing to remember is that your child has you as their mother, which means they are already doing great.
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