Many parents with autistic children understand that life after their kids’ diagnosis is quite different from before the diagnosis. When your child has autism, you will need to keep a list of medical professionals and medications in hand for emergencies. Although dealing with an autistic child can be stressful, the support of friends and family members can help you can manage the stress and learn to balance the needs of your child and your other responsibilities.
Evaluate the Needs of Your Child
Understand that your child needs both educational and therapeutic support. If your child is below five years old, ask your pediatrician for referrals for early intervention. Early intervention will help you identify services that your child needs including special education for autistic children and therapy. Parents with autistic children who are older than five years should consider calling a special childcare professional with a behavioral health degree to evaluate the needs of their children and determine the support services they need.
Contact your child’s doctor to discuss the medical interventions that your child needs. Some of the interventions that your child’s doctor may recommend include medications to enhance your child’s focusing abilities, help him to sleep, and be less aggressive.
With the help of your child’s doctor, therapist of teacher, develop ways of communicating with your child and responding to his behavior. You can modify certain aspects of your child’s behavior with medication, therapy, and support. However, certain aspects of your child’s behavior will remain unchanged.
Establish a routine by making your child’s environment and social settings more structured. This will help your child to be independent and feel less anxious.
Determine ways of organizing information regarding the specialists that your child sees, the medications he takes, and the activities that can help your child reinforce the skills he learns in therapy. In addition, consider joining support groups for parents with autistic children.
When seeking help from therapists and doctors, it is important to know that doctors and therapists working for your current school district may recommend varying treatment options or dispute the initial diagnosis altogether. As a parent, you can dispute their diagnosis and treatment recommendations. In addition, although some early interventions receive government funding, you may be required to have insurance or pay from your own pocket in case you opt for services provided by private therapists and doctors. Remember, autism exists on a spectrum and no two autistic children have the same experience. Therefore, develop intervention methods that suit the specific needs of your child.