Heartbreak and Help. No parent is fully prepared for the diagnosis of Autism. Some react with denial, others with fear. Most are confused. “What is Autism?” “Is there a cure?” “ What will our lives be like?” “Why my child?”
Let’s start at the beginning. What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Behavior (ASD) is a disorder that usually appears by age 2 to 3. It cannot be defined in one tidy box but rather in a range of non-norm behaviors that involve social skills, repetitive actions, speech and nonverbal communication, and often difficulty coping with sights, sounds and other sensations. The intensity can be from mild to severe.
It’s overwhelming to realize that life with a child impacted with Austin will be very different than had been expected. Around the clock, a special-needs individual presents many challenges, the biggest of which is making sure your child lives up to his or her potential. What to do? Let’s start with…
A basic toolkit for parents:
- Learn to be the best advocate you can be for your child. Be informed. Take advantage of services in your community.
- Feel. Yes, it’s okay to express your feelings – be it anger, grief, or guilt. The key is focusing the pain towards the disorder and not those you love.
- Do NOT allow autism to take over your life. Create quality time with your loved ones and…
- Appreciate the small victories your child achieves. Love your special needs child for who he or she is rather than what others think they should be.
- Get involved with the Autism community. Don’t underestimate the power of “community”, the comfort and support of others who face similar obstacles.
LeafWing Center: For over a decade, LeafWing Center has provided services for individuals with disabilities. We combine the expertise of Behavior Analysts, Marriage and Family Counselors, and Family Therapists, and Behavior Therapists, to help those in need, and their families, to live a fuller life.
The LeafWing Center blog will provide regular features on Autism – ranging from research developments, to treatment methods, to family survival strategies. Our purpose? To let you know you are not alone. Hope is within reach.