Healthy Living

A Guide To Managing an Autism Diagnosis

When your child receives a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or ASD, it can be a very challenging time. 

You may feel shame, sadness, anger, or frustration and may be looking for a way to make the entire situation easier to cope with. This is normal, and there are ways you can help yourself and your child make sense of the diagnosis and develop it. 

Here, those ways will be explored, so enjoy!

Learn As Much As You Can

The first thing you need to do is to learn as much as you can about autism spectrum disorder. 

Luckily, you may find yourself a bit spoiled for choice! You can look at websites, download the top autism apps, and even listen to podcasts and webinars on the topic when you are at home. The more you learn about ASD, the more you will understand and the easier it will be to manage for you and your child.

Talk to Other Parents

The internet is full of chat rooms and support groups for parents who have children with ASD. So, to help yourself learn more parenting skills or simply have a place to vent on bad days, make sure you are in touch with other parents. This will help you and your child to make friends in a group that will not judge them (or you), which can make a world of difference to your and your child’s mental health.

Talk To Your Child

If your child is verbal and wants to talk, it is always important to talk to them about what this diagnosis means. They will have questions, and although you may not have the answers, it is crucial for your relationship to talk about what you do know. Ask them if they need help exploring their emotions or if they need you to do things for them. Many children who have autism struggle with tasks that other children may take for granted, so try to get a dialogue going that will help them feel more in control and safe.

Acknowledge How You Feel 

You love your child. However, you may not love autism at first. That is normal and to be expected.

A lot of parents may struggle with how they feel about their child having a diagnosis of ASD and may feel shame when they get angry or frustrated at their child’s meltdowns. The key here is to acknowledge how you feel and to accept it. This can be hard, and this is where the help services tailored towards the parents of autistic children can help. It may also be worth looking into getting counseling, as this will help you to explore these feelings in a judgment-free space.

Stay In Touch With Professionals

The world has come a long way over the last 20 or so years in relation to how children with autism and their families are managed.

Even if you have the entire situation under control, it is always best for your child (and for you) to stay in touch with the right professionals. This will be your family care doctor, as well as psychologists and learning disability nurses. These people will be invaluable to helping you and your family to manage the autism diagnosis and will also ensure that, should things go awry, there is always immediate help available.