Four Things to Do after Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder4/3/2019 By Mariel Spicer, BCBA
An autism spectrum disorder diagnosis can be overwhelming. You may feel like there's so much to do and have no idea where to begin. Here are four things you can do that will help you make the best decisions for your family.
1. Take some time to process the diagnosis.
After your child is diagnosed with ASD, take some time to process everything. Hang out with your family. Spend some time appreciating that unique kid that you love so much. You have some challenges ahead of you, but you have amazing milestones ahead of you too!
Next, start to figure out how your child’s new needs will fit into your family’s routine. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), for instance, is a proven therapy recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics, CDC and National Research Council. At AIM Clinics, we specialize in ABA and spend between 15–30 hours per week with each child.
2. Join the community.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that is especially true after an autism diagnosis. There is a community of other parents of children with autism who have been in your shoes, and they can give you advice, recommendations or just be friends you can relate to.
Look for organizations or support groups in your area such as the Arkansas Autism Foundation, Oklahoma Autism Network, Autism Society of Alabama and Autism Tennessee. You’ll meet other parents while learning more about autism spectrum disorder.
Follow autism awareness Facebook pages and join Facebook groups for parents of children with autism.
The Autism Speaks Walk is an annual event that can help you meet the community while you support autism awareness. Visit their site to learn more and find your local walk.
3. Read! Read! Read!
You probably have a stack of papers to read and a list of websites you want to explore. Autism Speaks is a great place to get started. They have everything from general explanations of autism spectrum disorder to specific guides for grandparents and siblings.
Explore AIM's Resources page for advice about specific things, like potty training a child with autism, reducing aggressive behavior, improving communication and language skills and transitioning between activities.
4. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Remember: Every answer you get arms you with more information and ways to give your child the best future possible. It’s your healthcare providers’ job to give you the information you need to help your child.
If you want to know more about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy at AIM Clinics, we’d love to answer all of your questions—about ABA, insurance or anything else.