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What to Do if Your Child Has Been Diagnosed with Autism

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According to CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, 1 in 44 children has autism spectrum disorder. Autism is an early childhood and infancy disorder that causes delay in developmental milestones. Having your child diagnosed with autism is life-changing for you and your family. But, early diagnosis of autism can make a significant difference. It helps you get your child the help they require to thrive, grow and learn. So then, after getting the diagnosis, what next? In this article, we will enlighten you on the steps to take if your child has been diagnosed with autism.

Before Anything, Take a Deep Breath

Receiving news that your child has autism can be devastating. However, it does not change who they are and what they can accomplish. Research and studies on autism have been done and are still ongoing. Multiple interventions help children with autism lead a long, productive and healthy life. Therefore, acceptance is vital as it will help you take a bold step and do your best to help your child lead a better life.

Autism, photo by Peter Burdon

Find your Support System

The first week after your child has been diagnosed with autism can be stressful for you. You may be in a mental space wondering how you will help your child navigate their life. Please find a support system and reach out. Look online for autism advocacy groups. You can also ask your child’s doctor to link you with other caregivers and parents with autistic children.

Enquire from them how they cope with their autistic children. Moreover, the journey will be easier if you have a support system that can relate to your issue. When you get overwhelmed, reach out to your friends and family to watch over your child as you take time off to adjust to the new situation and distress.

Seek Early Intervention

Autism may have no cure, but several therapies may help your child develop social, communication, motor, and behavioral skills as they grow. Such intervention includes occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral and social therapy. The intervention program will significantly help your autistic child and assist you and the whole family in acclimating to having a child with autism. Seek support from an experienced pediatrician who deals with autistic children. Seek advice on the most appropriate intervention. Before trying anything new such as home remedies or strict diets, talk to your doctor first.

Moreover, seek legal action in case your child developed autism from negligence. For example, if your child developed autism due to Tylenol, it would be best if you speak to a lawyer to file a Tylenol autism lawsuit. Research has shown that the use of Tylenol during pregnancy might lead to development of autism, among other health issues. In this case, you can file a class-action product liability lawsuit against manufacturers failing to warn against the dangers of using their product when pregnant.

Be Aware of your Child’s Sensory Difficulties

Children with autism struggle with sensory difficulties because their senses process information differently than a typical person. Your child can be hyposensitive in that they want to seek strong stimuli like flashing lights or deep hugs. Moreover, they can be hypersensitive in that they do not desire strong stimuli like loud noises and bright lights. It will help if you are aware of your child’s preferences. You can adjust your home environment to make it more comfortable for them.

Try Something New with your Child

Do not revolve your child’s life around strict schedules of therapies and other intervention programs. Introduce them to leisure and recreation. Take them to a swimming lesson, art or a music class. If they love it, keep engaging them in the activity. It may be suitable as any other form of therapy and contribute immensely to the growth and development of your child.

Implement Applied Behaviour Analysis

Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is a behaviour therapy for autistic children. According to ABA practitioners, behaviour is a function of an environment. The applied behaviour analysis may be initiated as a form of therapy by a practitioner, but as a parent, it will help if you support it.

Try to help your child learn and develop new skills by manipulating the environment around them to provide a structure that can support them. Moreover, apply positive reinforcement where you reward good behaviour. Discourage lousy behaviour by failing to reward until the child cooperates and shows willingness with your command. Your goal should be to increase behaviour that is helpful to them and decrease the ones that are harmful or affect their learning and development of skills.

Final remarks

Your child is important to you with or without an autism diagnosis. You need to understand them and show them compassion and kindness to help them grow and live a happy life with autism.

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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