For many parents, realizing that your child may receive an autism diagnosis can be difficult and or surprising, but it doesn’t have to be.
Substantial efforts have been made to frame a roadmap for parents as they begin to navigate the possibility that their child may be Neurodiverse.
What to look out for
According to Gentles, Nicholas, Jack, McKibbon, & Szatmari, 2019, “forming an image of difference” is a key step in addressing your child’s needs and recognizing a potential autism diagnosis.
Often, parents will overlook or rationalize some of the early signs they observe. For many, overlooking these signs led to a later diagnosis than would have been preferable.
Being on the proactive side when it comes to managing your child’s care, is never a bad thing. In fact, putting early intervention practices into place will pay dividends over the long run.
The next step that these researchers identified is, “starting to question the signs.”
Non-specific signs to look out for
Many parents, perhaps like yourself, are starting to notice signs of autism in your child. These signs may be “non-specific versus autism-specific signs.”
An example of non-specific signs of autism may be delays or deficits that your child presents with hearing, speech, or social cues. You may also become informed of developmental delays or deficits by friends, family members, or even the daycare your child may attend.
Typically, these signs will lead to conversations with a qualified professional about the likelihood of autism. At which point, autism-specific signs can be more reliably deduced.
Usually, parents will seek information at this stage to determine whether or not their child has autism. However, they sometimes forget to become acquainted with “the meaning of autism.”
Don’t forget to get informed about what autism is and how early intervention can help. Understanding more about the nature of autism can alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with the diagnosis.
The third step, “knowing something there might be a reason to have your child assessed,” is normally when parents will begin to act more urgently. “The goal of understanding the problem here is not to determine whether intervention is necessary, but rather to quickly understand the problem clearly enough to know how to intervene.”
The fourth step, “being convinced it is autism,” is the last and final step discussed in this article.
By now, parents are convinced by what they have either observed or been told by a professional. At this point, most parents have adapted emotionally and are motivated to act.
Surely, a wide range of emotions will be experienced as you accept the reality that your child may have autism.
Know, these emotions may bubble up from time to time; that is a normal part of being a parent.
What to do next
The most effective thing you can do is to seek out the best information possible—both for you and your child.
At myHana, we aim to serve you by providing best in class curriculum to capitalize on early intervention.
At myHana, we believe that early intervention is key to a key mitigating the symptoms of autism. We also believe that it helps you (the parent) navigate work towards the most fulfilling and independent future for your child.
The myHana Team