After a diagnosis of a developmental disorder, your mind must be whirling. I was diagnosed as an adult, and that is how my mind went.
I read and read about it. I joined every group I could find online. I talked with my family incessantly. It was the only thing on my mind.
The sense of community with others like me really helped. In the autism community, I am not an outsider or a disorder, I am normal.
Seek out other parents to talk with online. But, going to an in-person parent support group may help more, especially if you don’t have autism.
That is another thing. Autism often runs in families, so you may be recognizing symptoms in yourself, or your child’s father, or both. (I say “child’s father” because I see online that the primary caregivers are women.) If one of you sees the symptoms, you may choose to get diagnosed. If you also have autism, it will give a window into your child’s mind. On this blog, I do my best to show what’s inside my brain.
From other parents and professionals, the round of therapies starts pushing you into a new world to learn about. There will be sensory integration therapy at an occupational therapy clinic. Perhaps ABA therapy (Applied Behavioral Analysis) might be needed. Then there is equine therapy, skills training, special needs summer camps, and more.
You probably already know about unkind comments from strangers. If your child has meltdowns in public places or while visiting family or friends, you know either the well-meaning or rude things people say about “controlling your kid.”
At some point, you will empower yourself perhaps by volunteering or to raise money or help out at an autism organization. You will feel empowered with the support of other parents. You may work on autism awareness outside of the autism community. Perhaps buying an autism awareness car magnet may be the start.
Then there is medical insurance to deal with. You may have to do some fighting with your medical insurer to get therapies covered. You will also be working with schools on your child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan). The school will have a special needs classroom, and they often have an occupational therapist who floats at many schools.
Lastly, every day, you will love your child even more.
This post was spurred by this article.